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Dumas Brothel Museum, Butte

1.9
#5 of 6 in Museums in Butte
The Dumas Brothel was a bordello in Butte, Montana. The brothel was founded by French Canadian brothers Joseph and Arthur Nadeau in 1890 and named after the nominal owner, Delia Nadeau, Dumas, who was Joseph's wife. It grew considerably through the years, with the miners employed by the city's copper mines often patronizing the establishment. After several changes of the "madams" and continuing pressure from authorities, the brothel closed in 1982, described as "a rare, intact commentary on social history". At the time of its closure, it was the longest operating brothel in the United States, having operated years after prostitution was made illegal. After closing, the brothel changed hands several times, eventually becoming a tourist attraction owned and managed by a series of Butte residents.
In the 1870s, a group of women, called "ladies of the line", began selling sexual services on Park Street, in the north of the city of Butte, Montana. When the tents and shacks on the street were replaced with legitimate businesses some years later, the "Park Street girls", as they had come to be known, moved to the south of the city. By the mid-1880s, a variety of dance halls, gambling houses and saloons had appeared in the city. By 1888, Butte's East Galena Street was lined with brothels; in fact, nearly every building on the street housed prostitution. This area of Galena Street would come to be known as the "twilight zone". Paramount to these establishments was the Casino Theater, a mixture of a saloon, dance hall and brothel. In the late 19th century, several prominent Montanans owned brothels in Butte, including Lee Mantle, who would go on to be a United States Senator, and Anton M. Holter, a wealthy businessman from Helena, Montana.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
64 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The only years available to check below were for 2018 and '19 but my husband and I actually toured the brothel back in the summer of 2000 just before it closed again. Rudy Giecek was the owner then an...  more »
  • Was there when I was in high school, the whole block was brothels. They go back to the 18 hundreds when Butte was a booming mineing town. The old cribs where the girls worked out of are still as they ...  more »

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