Established by the City of Portland in 1854, the cemetery was designed by Charles H. Howe as a rural landscape with winding carriage paths, ponds, footbridges, gardens, chapel, funerary art and sculpture. It also includes extensive wooded wetlands. Evergreen was modeled after America’s first rural cemetery, Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The popularity of garden/rural cemeteries as designed landscapes was so great, in form and function; they pointed the way to the development of urban parks as we know them today.
In the 1970s, walking trails were created in the undeveloped area towards the rear of the grounds. Its spaciousness combined with vegetation, ponds, and surrounding the wetland, truly provides a wildlife oasis. It is considered a premier bird-watching sanctuary. Evergreen Cemetery is also a wonderful location for enjoying the vibrant colors of fall foliage in Maine.
Approximately 65,000 people are buried here, unfortunately the records for the earlier burials (c. 1852 – c. 1870’s) have been lost. Most burial records can be found at the Evergreen Office. Many of the old-established Portland families have lots here, and there are several fine mausoleums and expensive monuments, as well as the beautiful Wilde Memorial Chapel, built in 1902.
Among the state’s well known early political leaders buried here include the following:
“evergreen cemetery” http://publicworks.portlandmaine.gov/evergreencemetery.asp [text extensively quoted, slightly reworded, and shortened for inclusion here]