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Tours & Programs

History is a big place! Where should we walk together?

Currently, tours are offered by private appointment or through the Bangor Historical Society.

Devil’s Half Acre Walking Tour of Downtown Bangor

Support the Bangor Historical Society by walking the streets of Bangor’s historic downtown with Madam Fan Jones, as she shares tales of the drama and vice of the 19th century “lumber capital of the world.”

During the great lumber boom of the 1800s, the city of Bangor, Maine was famous for its wealth, refinement, and industry –and a good deal of vice and violence. Join the city’s notorious Madam Fan Jones, proprietress of the Sky Blue House of Pleasure, on a stroll through Bangor’s historic downtown, as she shares true and dramatic tales of the people and events that shaped the 19th-century “lumber capital of the world.” 

How to Book: Public group tours are offered in partnership with the Bangor Historical Society.

To arrange a private tour, contact me via email to schedule!

The Bangor Historical Society also offers other fantastic tours on the Great Fire of 1911, Bangor’s Historic Architecture, Historic Homes of Broadway, Lumber Barons of Bangor, and more, as well as fantastic programming year-round!

a gravestone with a weeping willow icon in Mt. Hope Cemetery Bangor

Grave Matters Walking Tour: Graveyard Iconography of Bangor’s Historic Mount Hope

Ever walked through a graveyard and wondered, “Is that a skull and crossbones? Why does that have a weeping willow? Why does that one have green stains on it? And what are all those urns about anyway?”

The style and iconography of memorials tell us many things about the lives and hopes of the people whom they remember.

If you’ve ever wanted to understand what the stones are saying, this is the tour for you!

We’ll walk through Bangor’s beautiful Mount Hope Cemetery, the nation’s second-oldest garden cemetery. Consecrated in 1834, the cemetery is home to monuments and gravestones from the late 1700s to the modern-day.

This all-ages walking tour focuses on the monuments and the stories they tell all by themselves.

Currently, this tour is offered by private arrangement only.

Contact me via email to schedule!

Elephants lead a parade in the middle of the street in Bangor, Maine, late 1800s.

Virtue & Vice, Fire & Ice: Forces that Formed the Lumber Capital of the World

Bangor, Maine was a city shaped by opposing forces: a mighty river and great industry that brought prosperity and destruction, and people who did the same, bringing their virtues and vices to the Queen City. 

19th-century Bangor was a city of dramatic contrasts. Settlers and Indigenous. Abolitionists and rum runners. Preachers and prostitutes. Working-class and the gentry. Know-nothings and Catholics. And of course, the Irish. See this historic city of contrasts in a whole new light as we walk through the dark and the light of the lumber capital of the world. 

While the lumber barons, politicians, and other members of polite society spent time in their well-appointed offices and fine estates, those in their employ toiled deep in the woods, out on the river, or in their factories. Lumbermen, river drivers, sailors, Irish laborers, and other members of the working class worked hard –and played harder– entertaining themselves with booze, brawls, and brothels before stumbling back to tenements, ships, and the woods. This lively, costumed tour shines a light on the city’s complex history while showcasing some of the monuments and architecture of the great city on the Penobscot.

Currently, this tour is offered by private arrangement.

Contact me via email to schedule!

Presentation Program: A Brief Examination of Prostitution in the Mid-1800s

What made Bangor, and many cities like her, cities of legend in the 19th century? Business, industry, entertainment, and money. One of the most enduring of those businesses was prostitution.

Learn about one of the oldest businesses as seen through the eyes of William W. Sanger, M.D. in his 1858 treatise “The History of Prostitution.” This presentation can be delivered live or virtually.

How to Book: Contact me via email!

Upcoming Tours

I’m currently developing content for two completely new tours. Stay tuned for announcements and updates. If you want to know when they launch, let me know by sharing your interest via email!