Friends of Evergreen April 2013 Newsletter
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          Welcome New Friends of Evergreen

Please join us in welcoming Diane Brackett as Treasurer for the Friends of Evergreen Board of Directors and Jessica Siraco as our new Friends of Evergreen Community Outreach Coordinator.

                  Diane Brackett                                    Jessica Siraco

Diane is currently employed as a Client Services Manager at Fore River Financial and lives with her husband, an airline pilot, in Portland. Their daughter is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Diane graduated from the University of Southern Maine with B.A. in History, English minor and has spent most of her working years writing in various genre and has taught English to incoming freshmen at USM. Diane lived in Bermuda for two years where she was Publicity Chair of the International Women’s Club (IWC). Diane's interests include historical novels, watercolor and acrylic painting, gardening, cooking, dogs, photography, gravestone rubbings, and local history.

Jessica is a non-profit consultant and grant writer who has worked locally and statewide in various nonprofit administrative roles,project management, community outreach and mobilization, event planning and marketing. She has also been recognized for her work empowering young people in Maine to create positive change in their communities receiving the 2012 Main Youth Action Network ImpACT Award and the 2011 YouthMove Maine Award. Jessica is a volunteer with The Friends of Parsonsfield Seminary and a current student in Portland's History Docent Program.

 Contact Jessica Siraco at

                   Advocacy Update


     City of Portland CIP FY14 budget Update


The Friends of Evergreen aim to keep our members and friends updated on items relating to the preservation, protection and restoration of Evergreen Cemetery.

Cynthia Loebenstein, President, Friends of Evergreen, read the following letter to the Finance Committee during a public meeting at City Hall on March 28, 2013:

Dear Finance Committee Councilors,
On behalf of the Board of Friends of Evergreen we ask that all three items relating to Evergreen Cemetery requested by Public Services Department be funded in this year’s CIP budget. The repair and repointing of Wilde Chapel is slated for the CIP FY14 budget and we thank the City for its recommendation. However, two important projects have been dropped from the current FY14 list:
  • Evergreen Cemetery Expansion for $250,000
  • Evergreen Cemetery Stone wall repair along Stevens Ave for $90,000
The Evergreen Cemetery Expansion has a rating of 23 and should be included in the CIP FY14 budget.  We appreciate the FY13  expenditure to this project and believe that it is important to continue this work to expand grave sites in Evergreen. We believe that the next phase of the project should follow in FY14 for the sake of efficiency in this highly sensitive area in the front of the Cemetery. This project was also identified in our Master Plan which was written in 1991.more than 22 years ago.
It also is critical that the stone wall along Stevens Avenue be repaired. This project is adjacent to the Cemetery Expansion area which you have already funded and is integral to the design. The wall as it stands today is a safety hazard and the students at Lincoln Middle School identified this and documented it in a Service Learning Project. The stone wall is the “Front Door” to this historic landscape and reflects poorly on the City and the ownership its Evergreen Cemetery.
Thank you,
Cynthia Loebenstein
President of Friends of Evergreen

Design of Phase II Update:

  • Last year, the City of Portland allocated $550,000 for the permitting, design, and construction of the Phase II project at Evergreen Cemetery.
  • Woodard and Curran Engineers in conjunction with the Public Services Department recently hired a Landscape Architecture Firm who has experience with historical landscapes, particularly cemeteries.
  • The City is looking for a final product that is acceptable to the stakeholders, including neighborhood groups and regulatory agencies, while also staying within the modest budget that the City has established.
  • Design of this exciting project to begin this Spring!

While the Evergreen Expansion for $250,000 will probably not be needed until FY15, the repair of the stone wall along Stevens Avenue is still being debated among Councillors on the Finance Committee.

Why we want the Stone Wall along Stevens Avenue repairs included in the CIP FY14 budget: This is a safety hazard and needs to be addressed. It also is integral to the look of the Cemetery our "Front Door" to the community.



 Photos of Evergreen Cemetery stone wall  by Bob Riley, Friends of Evergreen History Docent

There is still time to email the Finance Committee with your concerns!
Currently, the final vote on CIP FY14 is scheduled for May 20th-Follow the budget discussions and find local meeting dates and times on the City's website.

Finance Committee Contacts

John Anton

Jill Duson

David Marshall

Nicholas M. Mavodones, Jr

We thank the City for the recommendation
that did make it through to the Finance Committee;
the repointing and repair of Wilde Chapel walls for $21,000.

                  Mark your Calendars!

Spring is here and The Friends of Evergreen are busy preparing for many warm weather events!


Arbor Day Celebration

When: Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 5:30

What: Annual Arbor Day Celebration-learn about the trees in Evergreen Cemetery

Where: Evergreen Cemetery

Friends of Evergreen and the Portland Department of Public Services celebrate Arbor Day with a FREE walking tour featuring Evergreen Cemetery's trees.

       2013 Historic Walking Tour Season Opens

We hope you will join us at some of our upcoming activities (info below) and be sure to save room in your schedule for one of our Historic Walking Tours which begin on May 19th-

Every Thursday, 5:00pm and Sunday, 2:00pm beginning May 19th thru October led by our experienced History Docent team! Cost: $7 per person, $5 for members, children under 12 free.

        ALL TOURS BEGIN AT VISITOR'S SIGNS -Near the cemetery office

When: Sunday May 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM

What: Historic Walking Tour Season Opening Tour " Art & Symbolism"

Where: Evergreen Cemetery

Our 2013 Historic Walking Tour Season opens with "Art and Symbolism." As burial customs changed from the stark and often neglected graveyards to the tranquility and beauty of rural cemeteries, a new language of symbols - flowers, urns, obelisks, etc. - emerged.  Join us as we unlock the hidden language and meaning of the art and symbols on the Victorian era grave markers in Evergreen Cemetery.


When: Thursday May 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM

What:  "A Walk Down Western"

Where: Evergreen Cemetery


Nineteenth century rural garden cemeteries, such as Evergreen, provided a place of remembrance and comfort to families visiting their loved ones’ burial places. The numerous multi-generational family plots on the tour are testimony to the belief it was as important to have the family gathered together in death as it had been for them to be together in life. Visitors will also learn about monument symbolism and be given a brief introduction to Pine Grove, the older cemetery within Evergreen. 

When: Monday May 27, 2013 at 10 AM and 2:00 PM

What: Memorial Day Historic Walking Tours

Where: Evergreen Cemetery

10:00 AM   "Highlights of Evergreen Cemetery"

Meet a political powerhouse, a suffragette, a famous architect, a self-made millionaire, the father of prohibition, a Civil War hero, a seafaring family, and more as we highlight the stories of some of the more interesting residents of early Portland. There is something for everyone in this casual walk through the center of Evergreen Cemetery.

2:00 PM  "Notable Women of Evergreen Cemetery"

Portland was home to many exceptional women whose contributions helped shape our community and our country. The tour includes remarkable women such as author and art patron, Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat, and Augusta Hunt who worked for social justice and women’s rights. We will learn about other women who as abolitionists, business leaders, lawyers, doctors, nurses, artists and authors made important contributions to our history.

Friends of Evergreen Historic Walking Tours are developed and led by Friends of Evergreen History Docents

         Friends of Evergreen Updates

         Portland's History Docent Program
                             Class of 2013


Friends of Evergreen is excited to be part of Portland's History Docent Program again this year!  Current Friends of Evergreen Docents provided an overview of Evergreen Cemetery at Wilde Memorial Chapel to the students during this years site visit.

  Bob Riley, FOE Docent educates the group on the art and architecture of Wilde Memorial Chapel

Portland History Docent students on a walking tour led by FOE Docent Mary Anne Wallace.

Portland's History Docents Program (PHD) is a collaborative effort by Greater Portland Landmarks, The Maine Historical Society, Tate House Museum, Victoria Mansion, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, and Evergreen and Eastern Cemeteries.

                             2013 Green Space Gathering

Friends of Evergreen attended the Parks Commission 4th Annual "Green Space Gathering" at the Ocean Ave. Elementary School this past week.  Keynote Eliza Townsend spoke of the importance of preserving and protecting open & green spaces even when budgets get tough telling the group "it's not the icing on the cake, it is the cake!"

  History Highlights: George Arthur Cleveland (1856-1927)

Friends of Evergreen is excited to present our new series of written portraits of figures known and unknown resting at Evergreen Cemetery and essays on some of Evergreen Cemetery's unique features. These articles will be available on our website. This month we introduce you to George A. Cleveland, a man truly inspired by the natural beauty of Maine.

"History Highlights"is an ongoing project created by members of The Friends of Evergreen.

Frontispiece photo of Cleveland provided by the author

Read the full article  here

Our contributor this month is David Little, a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Evergreen and the author of a new book on the Art of Katahdin to be published by Down East Books in April.     

                Submit your Pictures of Evergreen!

We love to post the fabulous photos of Evergreen Cemetery taken by fans of Friends of Evergreen on our website and FaceBook page!

Email your favorite photos to

Check out
previous submissions here


          What do you see when you visit Evergreen Cemetery?

                                 Local News

               Westbrook Cemeteries go High Tech

                                                        WOODLAWN CEMETERY
                                                          N43*40.3 – 70*20.8
                                                                      photo courtesy of Westbrook Historical Society

Three cemeteries in Westbrook, including it's largest Woodlawn Cemetery are using geo spatial technology to improve operations and enable visitors to look up individual grave-sites. Read the full article here.

                      Upcoming Community Events

Warbler Weeks at Evergreen Cemetery with Maine Audubon

Monday, May 6, 2013 – Thursday, May 16, 2013   7:00am – 9:00am

      Photos courtesy of  Maine Audubon

"One of the best places in southern Maine for a close view of migrating songbirds—particularly warblers—is Portland’s Evergreen Cemetery. At the height of the migration season in mid-May it’s possible to see more than 20 warbler species in a single morning!"

It's easy to make some time in your morning to join Mike Windsor, staff naturalist, Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Center to check out these colorful songbirds and enjoy the peacefulness of Evergreen Cemetery.

Find out the names of the warblers in the photos and event information here

Remember to share your photos with us by sending them to

For more updates and information, check out the links below:
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Our mailing address is:
The Friends Of Evergreen
PO Box 3805
Portland, Maine04104