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Historic Dumas Brothel, Butte

Categories: Landmarks, Specialty Museums, Museums, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
1.8/5 based on 40 reviews on the web
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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  • Spending the day in Butte, we had to visit the Dumas Brothel Museum. It’s really interesting, despite the dark side of life it represents, it’s the oldest brothel in America, lasting over 90 years and...  read more »
  • Before visiting the Museum I looked on their website, where the information that is currently open. Within half an hour I was in the Museum, but it was closed. I tried to call the phone number listed on the site but there was no answer. So I went to the hotel and booked a tour for the next day at 11 am. It was confirmation of the order. The other day I was in front of the Museum 10.50, but no one was there and even to 11.45 did not come. again, I called on the phone and no one did it again. The next day my e-mail austere came the announcement that their reservation system had a malfunction and whether I make a new reservation. Not a word of apology. I'm not going there for the third time, and again, probably unnecessarily.
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  • We were traveling thru Butte and needed something to do we found this on the internet of places to visit. When we drove up we were not quite sure if it was open or not. We went in and was not sure wha...  read more »
  • i went there for one week every day, on different times and every time was CLOSED. we ask a local if they have an especific time or day , and they said that "'the owners close operations because they gone insane"' this was one of my priorities to do on Butte and never opens
  • This is the second time I have tried to tour this place. I visited during business hours and found a lock on the door and no one answered the phone. As someone who runs a historic site I find it to be frustrating. At minimum put a note on the door saying you are closed!!
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