BELFAST, Maine — City officials said Friday that they know the identity of the elderly “mystery” woman who takes the bus from Bangor to Belfast periodically to walk around town and revisit her old haunts.
The 89-year-old woman is shy and right now doesn’t want to be identified to the public, according to Belfast City Councilor Mike Hurley.
He and others in the community last week said they wanted to find the woman and make her “Queen of Belfast” during her next visit to the city.
“She doesn’t really want anything from us, but we’re working on it,” he said.
The Bangor woman used to spend summers with relatives in Belfast when she was growing up in the late 1920s and the 1930s. She loved the city so much that she would try to hide when it was time to leave at the end of the summer, Hurley said.
The woman is active, still walking between three and five miles a day, he said. When she takes the bus down from Bangor, she walks from the bus drop-off on Route 3, all the way to Belfast City Park, then to the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and back again.
It’s quite a hike, and Hurley said that the woman once brought a friend from Bangor down with her, but neglected to tell her how far they would be walking.
“Just from City Park to the bridge is a long walk,” he said.
Belfast merchants have rallied around her story, offering to give her a night in a five-star hotel, lunch and dinner at many city eateries, shopping certificates, movie tickets, boat rides and a photo sitting by local photographer Charles DuFour.
After spreading the word of the search through local media, Hurley said he received a couple of phone calls earlier this week from her family members.
“I’ve talked to her a number of times. She seems like a really nice person,” he said. “It’s a sweet story. It’s kind of heartwarming, in these days of people having bad times, to see someone having a good time.”