postcard on linen: Greetings from Bangor, Maine circa 1930 -1945

I am always excited to talk about history! Here are some media mentions and interviews, mostly about Fan Jones.

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.”

The Oldest Profession Podcast “reminds listeners that sex workers have always been part of the story. Each episode focuses on an “old pro” from history, contextualizing that figure in their own time and connecting their story to the ongoing struggle for sex worker rights.”

Their June 22, 2022 episode, “Madam Fan Jones of Bangor, Maine” tells the story of our favorite Bangor brothel owner, Madam Fan Jones, whose fame has endured long past Bangor’s 19th-century heyday.

Their story brings Fan’s life into a modern context, which is fantastic. And, to our surprise and delight, there’s a little epilogue that tells folk that if they come to Bangor, they can meet Fan Jones during a walking tour of the Devil’s Half Acre. How cool is that? (Pretty cool, we think.)

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?”

Bangor Historical Society offers historic walking tours–510732151.html

WABI TV 5 interview with Matt Bishop, Curator of the Bangor Historical Society, who talks about Bangor’s historic walking tours, including the Devil’s Half Acre.

…and the little-known hazard of being the face of “the most famous Bangor prostitute you’ve never heard of”

One of the lesser-known risks of being a historical interpreter is having your face associated with headlines like these! – Photo credit: Ashlee Conti for the BDN

Maine Calling: Historical Reenactors: What Do Reenactors Do, and Why Do They Do it?

Jennifer Rooks, July 26, 2019

“Maine has a vibrant community of Civil and Revolutionary War historical reenactment groups throughout the state. Other groups focus on pre-Colonial times, or World War I. There are also medieval reenactments (some that focus on early 15th-century military). These groups try to bring living history directly to Maine schools, libraries, and other organizations. We’ll hear from reenactors about why they do what they do, and learn about upcoming events–including their role in the state’s approaching Bicentennial celebration.”

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