Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mt Hope Cemetery in Bangor


I could not resist a trip to Mount Hope Cemetery while in Bangor. I have to say that I think this is the biggest cemetery I have ever been in!
Coming of age
On April, 23rd. 2009, Mount Hope Cemetery will officiall turn 175 years old, making it one of the nations oldest garden cemeteries. Established in 1834, concurrent with the incorporation that same year of Bangor, Maine, the cemetery's host city, the Mount Hope Cemetery Corporation, beginning with fify acres, owned roughly 264 acres of land by 1996.
America's second garden cemetery
Mount Hope, recognized as America's second garden cemetery, also managed the adjacent cemetery holding of the City of Bangor during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In total, Mount Hope owned or managed some 300 acres by 1995, property visited by the general public for educational and recreational purposes as well as providing crematory, mausoleum, and related cemetery services.
~taken from the Mt. Hope website


This memorial greets you as you enter.


I find the death angel kinda creepy, but in a fascinating way.


The ponds reflect the stones back, making there appear to be more graves than there are.


Full of slopes and walkways and ponds it’s more like a park than a cemetery.


Another memorial for our fallen features canons and a turret(?).


I would have loved to spend more time there but our stomachs were rumbling after our bad experience in New Hampshire so we only spent about 45 minutes.


I could not resist approaching this mausoleum/crypt. And maybe it was the time of day, or the quiet of the evening, but as I walked up closer I swore I heard sounds from within.


In fact, I quickly snapped this photo of the vines and lept (hey, you may have leaped, I lept!) away!


Still I cautiously crept onto the ‘roof’ to survey my surroundings.


Nearby, I could lie on a mound and take this shot where I think it looks like I’m arising from my grave.


I am not positive that this is the oldest portion of the cemetery but it appears that way to me. I have never seen graves mounded in this way before, and I think it lends to the creepiness factor.

While this cemetery was not the inspiration for Pet Semetary it was the location that Stephen King used to write much of the novel. And it appears in the movie - which btw King insisted be filmed in Maine. My middle son was named Gage after the boy in the movie. Nah, I'm not a fan at all. lol
Sidenote: Some you have mentioned that I seem to be sharing tons of cemeteries lately and it's true. But they are not a new found fascination, nope, not at all. I'm not sure exactly when the fascination began. I know my mom and i would do etchings when I was a girl and we would explore new ones we saw. Ad adult, it seems I might have gotten interested in them again when I was pregnant with my last child. We lived across the road from a cemetery and walked in it many times. I would look at stones for neat names for my upcoming baby. Didn't end up using any from there, but the fascination has stayed.

For my birthday in 2006, Dennis I went to as many Chicago cemeteries as we could. I had never explored them before and had a blast! There are several old posts on my old blog about previous trips, as well as the ones here. But you're seeing a lot of them all together because one of my vacation goals was to step into at least one cemetery in each state we went to. I only missed New Jersey.


  1. Fascinating read although an unusual choice of topic. :) where I live, the coffins a re above ground.

  2. You have definitely been on the cemetery tour lately. Can't believe there are so many beautiful ones!

  3. I love wandering around old graveyards.

  4. Great images again. I recently went to Old Town Cemetery in Lynchburg, VA. The oldest grave there was for a child who died in 1808. There are older graves, but no headstones to mark them. I share your fascination with cemeteries too! I find that death angel frightening and I love the image where it looks like you are coming up from the ground. Eerie!

  5. Wow, the crypt with the vines is beautiful. Great photos.

  6. I am starting to pick up your fascination. I recently spent some time in a cemetery where most of my family has been laid to rest. It was very cool and I hope to do some again in the future.

    I love this series of photos, especially the crypt. I find it interesting that it's so hilly too, not flat and symmetrical. This must have been a very cool exploration.

  7. Of course, me being me, I liked the - I’m arising from my grave - shot. Ever considered working for Wes Craven?

  8. Actually I find the death angel interesting... in a creepy sort of way. Rather than the other way around.

  9. Hello Lisa~ Glad to see the comments are up and working now. Your post is still beautiful as this morning. Have a great day.

  10. I've always been fascinated with cemeteries too. They are beautiful, peaceful places and the history you can learn from each one is always so interesting.
    When my duaghter was little she was playing with a little doll house and she told my mom that the little people were going on a picnic. My mom said "So you're taking them to the park?" My daughter looked at her like she was crazy and said "Of course not, we're going to the cemetery" My mom told me that I might be warping the kid and that maybe we should try having a picnic in a park instead of a cemetery once in a while LOL

  11. I love to explore graveyards. This looks like a great one!

  12. You sure have been spending alot of time in cemeteries lately!! Did you ever see "Six Feet Under"?? Loved that show! Some great shots here in this particular one the vines!!

  13. Oh! Forgot to tell you THANKS for the tip on Osseo....not sure what we are going to do yet!

  14. Awesome images, Lisa! You should consider doing a book about Maine cemeteries!

  15. I love cemetaries on hillsides,and that crypt is SO cool.

  16. What beautiful photos. I actually spent yesterday afternoon walking through Mt. Hope with my camera as well. It was a beautiful, crisp November day - the perfect kind of day for strolling in a cemetery. I have ALWAYS loved walking in old cemeteries, reading the headstones and imagining the lives these people led. I was strolling through one the other day and the tombstone read: killed by the fall of a tree. Made me smile. Thanks for sharing.