4 Historic Maine Cemeteries Loaded with Local Folklore
Grab a hot coffee (pumpkin spice if you're into that), pack your camera, and go explore Maine's historic cemeteries. The burial grounds of Maine's famous, infamous, and plain folk are equal parks spooky and intriguing with tons of local folklore to add to the mystery. These are just four of the many cemeteries in Maine that offer guided tours and open hours so you don't miss a bit of the history lying behind each headstone.
1. Eastern Cemetery, Portland
Eastern Cemetery in Portland has quite the network of volunteers and friends who maintain the grounds and open it to the public for tours. Walking tours run through October 16th and on one of the hour-long events you'll learn all about the oldest historic landscape in the city and the 4,000 interred there.
2. Western Cemetery, Portland
From the city of Portland website: "This historic cemetery, dating from the late 1700s, is Portland’s second oldest cemetery. The land which became Western Cemetery was purchased by the city in 1829." No walking tours for the Western Cemetery are currently scheduled, but stay connected with the Maine Historical Society for special events.
3. Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor
From the Bangor Historical Society: "Built in 1834, Bangor’s 300 acre Mount Hope Cemetery is the nation’s second oldest garden cemetery. It was designed by renowned architect Charles G. Bryant as part of a national movement to provide respite from grassless urban landscapes. Garden cemeteries were created as much for living as for those who had passed on." You may recognize the cemetery as the setting of Stephen King's Pet Sematary. Join the walking tour this Saturday (September 10) and select other dates throughout the season.
4. Oak Grove Cemetery, Bath
Bath, Maine is known as the city of ships, so it's no surprise that Oak Grove Cemetery is the final resting place for many of the area's seafaring folk. According to the Maine Maritime Museum, "Oak Grove Cemetery contains the most varied collections of memorial art in Bath and is a virtual who’s who of 19th and 20th century maritime families along with many of Bath's leading citizens." Tours of this cemetery are available a few dates in October.