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Historic Dumas Brothel, Butte

2.5
#6 of 6 in Sightseeing in Butte
Landmark Specialty Museum
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.BackgroundIn 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
50 reviews
Google
3.2
TripAdvisor
  • I have heard alot of interesting stories about the Dumas and it is part of the Montana History Tour if you take it!  more »
  • It wasn't safe, as far as we were concerned. No electricity or lights in the basement and only one exit. How did they get approval for this by the city inspectors?  more »
  • Since neither my wife nor I had ever visited a brothel this was an experience of a life time, what fun it was to snap a picture of my wife walking out of a brothel in her late 70's and being able to s...  more »
Google
  • I ordered a dvd of a tour of the brothel. After I didn't receive it. I wrote them an email. They said they'd send another one. I didn't ever receive that one either. Apparently it was sent to the wrong state twice.
  • This was an interesting tour if you are ever in Butte. I found it curious that it was open until the late 80's.
  • Well it's understandable that there is a lot of upkeep...but every single day??? I would love to come visit,but it will probably be closed... it's okay to say that the building may be harming people maybe???
  • The history in this city is amazing. Very interesting to see what life was like for these ladies
  • TBH I don't know how you can do that all day every day but I would go crazy or insane doing that and would be out on the first day. I hate paranormal.

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