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Wednesday, August 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Research Spotlights Wallace Brothels

In 1989, two years before the brothels in Wallace closed for good, the Idaho Statesman published the article above. (Courtesy of research by Heather Branstetter)

If you've lived in North Idaho or the region for any length of time, you know that there were brothels in Idaho for more than a century. Now, Heather Branstetter, a Wallace native, has posted an overview of prostitution in the old mining town, entitled: "Selling Sex in the Silver Valley: The history and rhetoric of decriminalized brothel-based sex work in northern Idaho, 1884-1991." Among her research, Branstetter writes of The Star, a house of prostitution owned by Gracie Edwards: "The Star employed at least six women from 1890-1904. Gracie’s parlor house featured crystal goblets, satin spreads, and pillow shams on the beds, following the example of larger city bordellos. Two of her girls gained fame one night when Lulu Dumont stabbed Frankie Dunbar with her stiletto seven times while fighting over money. She survived." More here. (Photo of 1890s Madame Effie Rogan, from Heather Branstetter's research via University of Idaho Library Special Collections, Barnard Stockbridge Collection)

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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