Tours & Events
We keep busy all year providing new ways for you to learn and do for the Eastern Cemetery.
- Gardening Days - Spring through Fall
NEXT: Saturday, May 20 from 8:30am to 12:00pm
Join us as we tidy the cemetery, removing trash, mulching, pruning, and weeding around the gates. We provide tools, gloves, training and a good time! We are forming a core group of gardeners who will meet several days through the summer and fall to make sure the cemetery continues to look great for visitors. If you are interested in joining, email volunteer coordinator Matthew Mueller.
- American Flag Planting in the Cemetery
Tuesday, May 23 from 12:00pm to 12:30pm
Join us as we decorate veteran graves for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. With a small group, we usually can get this done in about 1/2 an hour. Rain date TBD.
- Temperance, Prohibition, and the Rum Riot
June 2, 3, and 4 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
5:30pm and 6:30pm
Suggested donation: $5/person
Presented with the Deering Players of Deering High School
This interactive experience will feature actors portraying those who were alive in the era of the Triangle Trade, temperance and prohibition, Neal Dow, and the Rum Riot. The audience will have a chance to participate in the events staged whether singing or humming along to a temperance tune or tossing down imaginary ladles of rum.
The 30- to 40-minute walk down Funeral Lane starting at the main gate will stop here and there to take in the performance. Daylight will illuminate the path, but the ground is a little uneven, and there are few places to stop and sit. Wear layers as you never know what a summer night is like on the breezy hill.
- Bartlett Adams: Portland's First Stonecutter Talks & Walks
- Summer and Fall
Learn about the most prolific and Portland's first stonecutter from expert cemetery sleuth, Ron Romano.
- Walking Tours - July to October (Special tours times available upon request at no extra charge)
Learn a little about the history of Portland and how its first residents are now cemetery residents. Art, iconography, stone types, cemetery development, and your questions will also be covered.
- Stone Conservation & Preservation - Late Spring, Summer, and Fall
Learn to beautify the cemetery's historic stones using proper stone conservation and restoration techniques.
- Stone Survey: Photography - Late Spring, Summer, and Fall
We spent 4 years transcribing and documenting every stone on the site on paper. Now we are photographing each of them one by one. Wanna help with our 6th year of work? Orientation for new photographers is ongoing. Contact us if you're interested in working on this project. You set your own schedule!
- Winter Lecture Series - January, February, March
Join us to learn about topics related to the history and customs around cemeteries like ours.
- Walk Among the Shadows - October
The ghosts of people who died in our city rise for the evening to tell the tales of their extraordinary lives.