Let’s start with prostitutes, shall we?
The gold rush town of Deadwood, South Dakota, takes pride in its lawless past — drinking, gambling, even murder. So I wasn’t too surprised to learn that prostitution played a large part in the narrative.
The first prostitutes arrived in Deadwood in 1876. “Most prostitutes died in obscurity under assumed names, but a few became well known, if not respected.”
Here are some of the names (or pseudonyms) of Deadwood’s early prostitutes:
- Alice Tubbs
- Anna Dare
- Dora DuFran
- Edith St.Clair
- Ida Clark
- Ida Cheplan
- Iva Redmond
- Jennie Phillips (born Josephine Willard)
- Mollie Johnson
Only in 1980 (!) was prostitution wiped out in Deadwood once and for all.
In the Adams Museum, I found a pair of bedazzled denim wedge-heeled shoes left behind by one of Deadwood’s former (but more recent) working girls:
Here are the names of Deadwood’s last three madams:
- Dixie Fletcher
- Elsie Irwin
- Pam Holliday
Which set of names do you like better: the one from the late 19th century, or the one from the late 20th century?
[What’s this road trip all about?]