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Historic Dumas Brothel, Butte

2.4
#12 of 13 in Things to do 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.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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Historic Dumas Brothel Reviews
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53 reviews
Google
3.2
TripAdvisor
  • I booked my tour online and received the confirmation to show up on 10/19 at 12:00 noon. I arrived at 11:45 only to find the front door padlocked and no one around. No one would answer the doorbell or...  more »
  • Visited on 08/20/17 with a friend. The lady at the front desk shared lots of stories and history. They are working very hard to keep the building maintained and restore what they can. For anyone that ...  more »
  • We drove up to the museum in August, 2017. The museum is closed and a "for rent" sign is in the window. Took pictures of the building and the national historic registry. Hopefully someday this buildin...  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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