Friday, May 16, 2008

Dolly Arthur's House

Dolly Arthur is a famous prostitute who moved to Alaska after a troubled childhood in Idaho and eventually set-up shop on Creek Street.

Here is an earlier photo of Dolly:

She plied her trade from a house she bought on Creek Street for $800 and charged $3 a "pop" so to speak, at a time when the daily wage was $1/day. She worked until she was 72 (very loyal clientele). She worked alone. No madam or pimp. That's her house painted in mint green:

At the time in Alaska, prostitution was tolerated but only if it did not occur on land. This gave birth to Creek Street, where the houses were built on stilts above a creek with a boardwalk access.

View of the Norwegian Star from Creek Street:

Dolly decorated the house herself.
Above is the dining room with her Franciscan dinnerware.

Shown above is the kitchen with "modern" appliances.

Above is the bedroom where all the action happened. Dolly's money-maker!

Above is Dolly's private bathroom. If you look at the shower curtain trim closely, those flowers are actually made from French silk CONDOMS! As you can imagine, as soon as people discovered that silk condoms were a big mistake, there was a lot of dead stock lying around and leave it to Dolly not to waste all that valuable French silk!

Hey, maybe I should give this prostitution thing a shot!

I'll stick to blogging.

To read more about this cruise, click here.


Anonymous said...

got here via chuvaness.

cute post. were the other houses beside dolly's also prostitute houses?

VRG said...

Thanks! They were either brothels or bars. Creek Street was the red-light district. Most of the houses are now souvenir shops.

karma said...

I grew up in Ketchikan... I dig this blog you've got. My little sisters' grandma actually took care of Dolly once she was landed in a nursing home there in Ketchikan. One of my favorite parts about Dolly's house is the stories of the bootlegging that took place there during prohibition... they would pull the boats up under the house and send the liquor up through a trap-door/dumbwaiter thing. I also like the stories about the dead mans' trail that leaves out the back of Dolly's house.... However I never knew the silk flowers were made from french silk condoms! Funny :)

Anonymous said...

Nice blog!. I too grew up in Ketchikan. My best friend's family (in high school) now co-owns Dolly's house. I was glad to see they kept it mostly original. My uncle bought several of the buildings when I was in high school and converted one into a souviner shops. It was cool to see where the old trap door that was used during prohibition days.. Up until the mid 90's most of the buildings were still used as residences. Soem still are. In fact another good friend of mine used to live in the building next to the tram, but it too was eventually bought and converted to a souviner shop. I went to pre-school in one of these buildings as well.

Dead mans trail starts over by the Cape Fox Lodge. Last time I traveled it was when I was 15 and it was getting overgrown at that time.