Our Ladies of the Tenderloin

Colorado's Legends in Lace

Colorado's Legends in Lace

“I went into the sporting life for business reasons and no other.  It was a way for a woman in those days to make money and I made it.” – Mattie Silks

With the discovery of gold in 1858, the population of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain region exploded.  On the heels of greenhorns and tenderfeet, eager to strike it rich, came the women, and usually for the same reasons.  And many of the early female arrivals were “ladies of the evening.”

Historical accounts of  “our ladies” can be found in newspaper archives, particularly obituaries and criminal cases.  Other sources include census records, cemetery records, and a few business directories.  However, a majority of prostitutes lived in shades of gray.  By moving from town to town and by changing their names and inventing past lives, the identities of these women constantly evolved.  Today it is often difficult to separate historical truth and folklore.


About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

Posted on June 5, 2009, in Books, Colorado and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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