1. Dumas Brothel (Butte,Montana, 1890- 1982)
Butte was at the heart of the mining industry with a vast amount of copper and other metals extracted from the Butte Hill. Mining meant miners which meant rough necks needing to relax at the end of their grueling, dangerous workdays. What better way to decompress than a little sexxxay-time?
In its heyday, Dumas utilized all 43 of its rooms and scheduled three different shifts of working girls to keep their customers hitting pay dirt. It remained open until 1982 when its madam could no longer afford to pay income taxes.
2. Everleigh Club (Chicago, Illinois, 1900-1911)
Managed by sisters Ada and Minna Everleigh, this opulent bordello offered the finest in courtesans, furnishings, food and entertainment and catered to political bigwigs, European royalty and the (legal and illegal) movers ‘n shakers of the Windy City. Its clientele included Edgar Lee Masters, Theodore Dreiser, Marshall Field, Jr.and Prince Heinrich of Prussia.
Marshal Field, Jr. (yes,the department store mogul whose namesake store would eventually give birth to Macy’s and the beloved, squeaky clean parade) was shot and subsequently died. Although there was an attempt to make it look like the murder occurred at home, there was substantial evidence that one of the prostitutes shot him at the Everleigh.
Less somber history was made when the Prince of Prussia paid a visit. The Everleigh sisters spared no expense hosting this dignitary. During one of the dances performed by the girls, a prostitute’s slipper came off and spilled champagne. A member of the Prince’s entourage chose to use the slipper as glass and thus the trend of drinking champagne from a woman’s shoe was born.
This U.S. capital of bacchanalia was ordered by the mayor to close its notorious doors in 1911.
3. The Chicken Ranch (LaGrange, Texas,1905-1973)
The actual basis for the Broadway show and movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, this house of lascivious repute was at first operated out of a hotel by a widow known as Mrs. Swine. Swine and one of her prostitutes were Yankees so the Civil War brought with it the closing of the original site.
In 1905 a new madam, Miss Jessie, restarted the business out of a riverside house. Advertisements sent to local men fighting in WWI and the increase of automobiles made for a flourishing business.The Great Depression caused prices for pleasure to go down and when profits dwindled Miss Jessie implemented the “poultry standard” – charging one chicken for each sexual act. The chicken population at the brothel thus causing it to be re-christened as the Chicken Ranch. Miss Jessie increased her own earnings through the sale of surplus chickens and eggs.
Although accusations of links to organized crime in the early 1970′s led to an investigation that provided no supporting evidence, the cathouse-turned-chicken coop was still ordered to be closed in 1972.
4 & 5. Sphinx and One Two Two (Paris, France, 1930-1940)
During their dual reign as the most opulent destinations for fornication in Paris (which is like describing something as having an orgasm in the middle of an orgasm) these competing landmarks of lust brought sex for sale to a whole other level.
Sphinx catered to the likes of Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant and John Barrymore and boasted the finest Egyptian decor out of Egypt.
The One Two Two had 22 bedrooms decorated to accommodate any fantasy including a train car replica, Provencal chamber, igloo and a torture chamber.No detail was overlooked in the pursuit of attracting clients with full appetites for decadence.
The fatal mistake of accepting Nazi clientele made for the death knell of the One Two Two and together with Sphinx, the age of Parisian luxury brothels came to an end after prostitution was outlawed.
6. Salon Kitty (Berlin, Germany, 1930-1940)
This den of vice became notorious after being utilized by the intelligence office (known as SD) of the Nazi Party to host an espionage operation. The chief of SD assumed control of the brothel from Madam Kitty Schmidt who had been funneling money to Britain’s banks to assist fleeing refuges.
After an escape attempt over the Dutch border and being threatened with going to a concentration camp, Madam Kitty was forced to continue running her newly renovated business. “Improvements” included microphones everywhere and monitoring desks and recording turntables in the cellar.The goal was to ply prominent clients with women and wine in the hopes they would offer up secrets or their true opinions. Twenty prostitutes were trained as go-betweens. A British intelligence agent masquerading as a Romanian press secretary saw the wires and wire-tapped them for British intelligence to hear, giving the Brits the same advantage as the Nazis.
A bomb in July 1942 took down the building causing Salon Kitty to re-locate.The espionage project was ended and Madam Kitty was threatened to stay silent or else. The prostitutes trained as spies stayed with her. Kitty died holding onto her secrets in 1954 and Salon Kitty was managed by her heirs into the early 1990′s.