BELFAST, Maine — Local officials and business owners are trying to find an elderly woman from Bangor whose story has tugged at their heartstrings.
The woman, whose identity is not known, used to spend a lot of time in Belfast when she was young. Now, even though she doesn’t have a car, each year she takes the bus to Belfast and walks to Belfast City Park. She spends the day at the park, watching people and revisiting her former haunts.
“After a day in the park, she walks to downtown Belfast, walks out and back on the beautiful Armistice pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Passagassawaukeag River and Belfast Harbor,” Mike Hurley of Our Town Belfast wrote. “Then she walks back and catches the last bus to Bangor, shrouded in mystery.”
Locals in Belfast would like to solve the mystery — and when they do, they would like to make her “Queen of Belfast” during her next visit to the city by the bay.
So far, the offers from local merchants include giving her a night in a five-star hotel, treating her to lunch and dinner at many city eateries, showering her with shopping certificates, giving her movie tickets and boat rides — and even a photo sitting by local photographer Charles DuFour.
“We want to find this lady who loves Belfast and show her some love in return,” Hurley said.
He learned of the mystery woman after she stopped a few weeks ago at The Spot, the concession stand in Belfast City Park. Owner Dan Alex told Hurley that the woman had also come by his stand last year and shared her tale with him.
“It’s really a sweet story,” Hurley, who co-owns The Colonial Theatre, said Friday.
He said that it reminded him of “The Trip to Bountiful,” a 1985 Academy Award-winning film. In that movie, an elderly woman has one dream — to visit the beautiful small town where she grew up.
Belfast merchants and others are tickled that the woman has such a fondness for Belfast, Hurley said.
“Everybody was just so excited about this vision of this woman who had great times in Belfast,” he said. “We just wanted to give her a big gift, and let her just enjoy herself.”
According to Hurley, a few details are being withheld about the woman’s last trip so she can be correctly identified.
The woman is asked to contact Hurley at 338-1975.