Calvary Cemetery of South Portland
Some historical information below is excerpted from Maine Irish Heritage Trail website.
Calvary Cemetery was consecrated on August 8, 1858, by Rt. Rev. David William Bacon, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland. It is the final resting place of thousands of Irish, French, Italian, Portuguese, English, Scottish, Polish, German, Lithuanian, Lebanese, African, and Syrian Roman Catholics, among others. The land had been owned by James Thornton and was a part of “Libby’s farm.”
Immediately following the consecration of the cemetery, Dublin, Ireland native Mrs. Rosanna Graves, aged 50, was interred, followed by two children, John Magee, and two-year old Martha Jane Anderson. Beginning in November 1858, many Catholics buried in Western Cemetery were reinterred in Calvary. A small memorial chapel, Mount Calvary Chapel, was built there in 1860 as the second oldest church in Portland.
The first known family of African descent to be buried at Calvary Cemetery is the family of John Reginald Spaulding. Spaulding was born in Africa in 1871, became a U.S. citizen in 1906 and was a faithful communicant of Sacred Heart Church of Portland until his death in 1962. John purchased the burial plots in Calvary upon the death of his wife Mary Ellen Spaulding in 1913, and the family plot is the burial site of 3 generations of the Spaulding family.
In 1910, Rev. Timothy H. Houlihan was named Director of the Cemetery and offered Sunday Mass at the chapel. In 1926, Mount Calvary Chapel was upgraded to serve as a parish for residents in Cash Corner, Ligonia, Pleasantdale Park, and Thornton Heights, as well as part of Scarborough. The church was expanded to include the addition of a chapel in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a new sacristy, and a cemetery office.
There are an estimated 46,000 people buried in Calvary Cemetery including Bishop James A. Healy. the second bishop of Portland; Bishop Daniel J. Feeney, seventh bishop of Portland; and Bishop Amadee Proulx. auxiliary bishop of Portland.
Calvary cemetery offers options for both casket and urn burials, as well as above-ground cremation inurnments. Visit Pietà and St. Dominic Niche Columbaria for more information on our cremation niches which come with an all-inclusive price for the niche space, opening & closing of the niche, and memorialization.
Connect with us.
Please contact a Family Service Advisor at 207-773-5796 to update your contact information or to receive information on pre-planning your own cemetery arrangements. We are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Our new office is inside the second cemetery entrance when coming from Cash Corner. We are open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
South Portland, ME 04106
Cemetery Rules & Regulations
Updated January 2023
Find A Grave (External link) - Information on burial locations and pictures of headstone and markers at Calvary Cemetery which have been uploaded by volunteers. This is an independent website and is not affiliated with the cemetery.
Information and answers to frequently asked questions for families planning the burial of the ashes of a loved one.