Road trip roundup: Dora, Dixie, Mollie, Pam

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:

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:

Prostitute Shoes

Here are the names of Deadwood’s last three madams:

Which set of names do you like better: the one from the late 19th century, or the one from the late 20th century?

Sources: Adams Museum,, Madam Mollie Johnson, queen of the blondes

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