The remaining Dumas Brothel is a profiled parlor house noteworthy for its operational longevity between 1890-1982. The Dumas is the longest tenured American house of prostitution. The property weathered numerous reform movements and attempts towards forced closure by governmental authorities. Owner tax evasion ultimately shuttered the property.
Across the road is the Blue Range Building, the last street-facing example of the lowest extremity of prostitution once employed within the district. The seven sets of ground floor doors and adjacent windows housed segregated cubicles called cribs. Diminutive cribs accommodated only a single bed and an occasional washbasin. Lower esteemed prostitutes serviced clients from these utilitarian spaces.
Butte's prostitution industry reinforced a rigid hierarchy of distinguishing elite mistresses for the affluent and influential, from lowly street solicitors. The lifestyle of sex professionals was plagued by drug addiction, financial debt, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, violence and abuse by their patrons and jealousy-motivated clients. Suicide was common even amongst the highest regarded women within such a cannibalistic environment,
During the turn of the twentieth century, Butte was one of the largest Rocky Mountain population centers. Its licentious reputation mirrored contemporary Las Vegas. Unlike many western frontier settlements, cowboy culture made minimal intrusion. Butte's red-light district is a haunting environment with a complex past.