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Bangor stop gives cruise ship passengers a more ‘genuine’ experience of Maine life

Emily Burnham, July 11, 2022

“…Several local tour operators have partnered with the cruise line to offer their own tours, including SK Tours of Maine, a Stephen King-themed driving tour operated by Jamie Tinker, and Madame History, run by local historian Monique Bouchard, which offers a historic walking tour of downtown led by Bouchard, who is in character as notorious 19th-century madam Fan Jones.

Bouchard regales passengers with tales of the city’s colorful past as the lumber capital of the country, and the rough and tumble ways of 19th-century Bangor.

“We get a lot of really interesting questions from people, because I think the stories we have to tell in Bangor are really different from other places they’ll experience on the cruise,” said Bouchard, who also operates tours for locals for the Bangor Historical Society. “People are generally really curious about the history of Bangor, once we get talking.”


Historium Unearthia Podcast

Episode 2: Step Inside Madam Jones’ Bawdy Blue House of 19th-Century Pleasure

Crystal Ponti’s Historium Unearthia is a podcast celebrating history’s lost and untold stories.

“There was once a stretch of land so wicked and rowdy, it became known as the Devil’s Half Acre of Bangor, Maine. Historians affectionately refer to this legendary destination of merriment and mayhem as Satan’s playground – a place where loggers, sailors, and other workingmen gathered to spend their hard-earned cash on whiskey and women. When Maine became the first state to pass Prohibition in 1851, supporters dreamed of a pine-strewn moral haven. But one freethinking former seamstress had other ideas. Have you ever heard of Fan Jones?

Story of wild lumberjack who inspired local gin begins in Coos County

By Emily Burnham Bangor Daily News

“…Bangor historian Monique Bouchard has researched Jones extensively, and dons her persona when leading walking tours for the Bangor Historical Society. Would Jigger Johnson and Fan Jones have encountered one another, when Johnson was a strapping young lumberjack in the 1890s, and Jones was the elder stateswoman, as it were, of Bangor brothel-keepers?”

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