1895 catalog of Louisville bordellos

David sez, "The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of union civil war veterans, held its annual encampment in Louisville in 1895. This 'Sporting Guide' advertises the various houses of ill repute wishing to "entertain" the visitors coming to town for the event."

G.A.R. souvenir sporting guide (Thanks, David!)


      1.  I think “married” is another one (see pages 16 and 22). My best guess is “rooms to let to married men only” means “we rent by the hour, bring your own lady” and they have to pretend the lady in question is the guy’s wife, due to some law about not renting hotel rooms to unmarried couples?

        Although if bordellos were operating and advertising that openly, I’m surprised anyone had to bother skirting laws about hotel rooms and unmarried couples.

  1. Let us not forget, those who partook of this questionable activity, those who read this ad, those who never read this ad, those who never read anything at all, they are all dead. Dead, dead, dead. Let this warning bring you new faith in the right path.

    1. Actually whole planet has a miserable safety record. Everybody’s ever been to Earth died on that godforsaken rock. LoneyPlanet Hitchhikers Guide 0/10.

    1.  I’ve just been checking. There doesn’t seem to be a Green Street in Louisville, KY anymore. Since so many of these places look like they were on Green Street, I’d guess that name had a Reputation and so the city changed it at some point. No idea which current street was Green Street.

      I did find a “Historical Green Street Baptist Church” which is on Gray Street, so maybe that’s where it was.

      Some of the streets look like they’re gone entirely. Daisy Mills at 711 West Street — there is no West Street in Louisville that Google Maps knows about. She notes that she’s “bet. Madison and Walnut, 10th and 11th” but Madison no longer extends to 10th and 11th, and 10th and 11th themselves are almost gone. It looks like there’s a public housing development on that block now.

      Grayson Street is likewise nonexistent, and I have no clues about where it used to be.

      The addresses I have been able to find (or guess at) all look like whatever used to be there has been long torn down. Lots of empty lots, parking lots, garages, public housing.

      It would make a depressing Google Maps mash-up. Maybe informative, though.

      1.  Here, I’ve got some of them going: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200517102756812225500.0004d1684e4c4529bc669&msa=0&ll=38.252066,-85.772152&spn=0.021164,0.041027

        I can’t get Google Maps to draw a line where I tell it to for some reason, so I haven’t marked where I think Grayson Street once was. (My guess is that the current Cedar Street was once Grayson, triangulating from the other locations and from the mention of Grayson Street here: http://antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/hinzen-rosen/

        I’m still completely uncertain where Green Street once was. If the Green Street Baptist Church was once on Green Street, then I’m looking at Gray Street, which cuts off at MLK. What’s now called Magazine Street appears like it might once have been connected with Gray Street. Maybe that’s what used to be Green Street? God only knows what the numbering was, though.

        1. At the end of WWI, the city was in the running to have a military base installed, but for the army, Green Street’s reputation was a deal breaker. The newly elected Republican mayor elected with the support of the temperance movement made the move to shut them all down and rename the street the most patriotic thing they could think of (Liberty Street). Louisville was selected to set up Camp Zachary Taylor, and promptly ushered through F. Scott Fitzgerald who could base part of Gatsby there. 
          Good times.

      2.  It wouldn’t be the only place that had its worst neighborhood obliterated. Manhattan’s Five Points neighborhood (site of Scorsese’s Gangs of New York) is gone–not just the buildings but the intersection itself and some of the streets that lead up to it; there’s a criminal justice building there, I think. There was also a street in Brooklyn that got renamed because of a horrific subway accident underneath it.

  2. Good old-fashioned morality at work, from a simpler and godlier America! Of course, if you tried to point this fact out to the typical Bible Belt wingnut, they’d probably just harp on the “Union Army” bit to reject the whole thing out of hand. (And run out to shag their own pet playthings 20 minutes later, when the other decent folk aren’t watching.)

    1. That was an interesting page. Basically half the description boiled down to “…and she’s Jewish! Isn’t that craaaazzy?

  3. I was born and raised in Louisville Ky. I grew up living in the West End, down around Portland, on 31st Street. The house my parent owned cost the grand sum of 3000+ Dollars. I remember my Father stating that the house payments were 37$ a month. It was a Shotgun House. We lived right behind the flood wall and by the K&I Bridge. The house was known at one time being a Barber Shop, and before that it was known to have been a undercover slot machine parlor. The house dated back to the turn of the century at the least. We also later owned a house on Slevin & 22nd (now an empty lot.) it used to be known for running illegal card games. It was a 3 story building, and they had the upper story paneled in wood, and there were windows all around, so that they could watch in each direction for the Police, if a raid was going to take place. It was directly across the street from a liquor store, so I guess that helped a lot. I can remember when my parents did a remodel on the first house, and they found silver dollars all over the ground, under the floorboards of the back part of the house. This was when they learned of the stories about it being an old slot machine parlor. We have a picture of my Grand Father rowing down the street of one of the main streets in that part of Town, back before they erected the flood wall, and the area flooded from the Ohio river overflowing. Now as I use Google Maps to look over the area, it looks like a wreck, and a magnet for white trash. It’s a shame, really. Louisville was a wonderful place to grow up. Sidewalks were made of herringbone patterned bricks, and shade trees growing everywhere. It was a place where you could run the neighborhoods, and play with kids that lived several blocks away, and you could roam the neighborhoods and not have to worry about getting abducted. we’d have gangs of kids that played together that lived from all over the neighborhood. Hot days in the summer with fire hydrants cracked open on the street corners, and kids playing in the water jets. Summers hanging out at the Boys Club of America, and City Recreational Centers, and local Parks with big public wading fountains. It’s such a shame that it isn’t like that any more.

  4. Wha? Since when did Cory and b.b. start glorifying enslavement of women–not like women had much choice of ‘professions’ back then…

Comments are closed.