Filed Under Butte
Butte National Historic Landmark District
French Canadian brothers Arthur and Joseph Nadeau built this house of prostitution in 1890. Reflecting the architecture of the trade, each room features a door and window so customers could “shop.” In 1900, when Grace McGinnis was madam, the Dumas was in the heart of the red-light district, an area roughly two blocks square and crowded with saloons and gambling halls. Prostitutes worked everywhere from squalid alley “cribs” to high class “parlor houses” such as the Dumas. Prostitution, although never legal in Butte, was tolerated as a necessity for miners and “gentlemen” alike. The district faded as years passed, but women at the Dumas serviced customers until 1982.