Idaho Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Sierra Silver Mines of Wallace »« A Walk About Historic Wallace

The Oasis Bordello Museum in Wallace

The History Of Prostitution

Word had spread around Wallace that the Feds were on their way in, and the town’s bordellos had to close up fast. Under the vigilant eyes of Madame Ginger, the working girls of The Oasis grabbed what they could carry and left everything else behind. Their departure marked a sudden and unexpected end to prostitution in Wallace. The year was 1988.

Atari-Idaho

For the next five years, until being sold in 1993, The Oasis was locked up and undisturbed. The building’s new owner found everything inside the former bordello just as Madame Ginger and her girls had left it — clothes, toiletries, personal items, drawings, Atari systems, price lists, liquor, even the now-rancid food in the refrigerator. He realized almost immediately that he had a ready-made museum on his hands.

It goes without saying that, in 1988, prostitution in America was completely illegal, even in out-of-the-way Wallace, Idaho. But Madame Ginger had been careful to make generous “donations” to the police department, and was one of the town’s prime philanthropists. As such, she was popular with locals and could even call upon the law for assistance, when needed. For all intents and purposes, The Oasis was a legitimate business… and what a business it was! With five girls working sixteen-hour shifts, profits were estimated to clear a million a year.

And that’s despite the competitive prices. Even those of us who’ve never, ahem, procured a Lady of the Night understand that $15 for an eight-minute session isn’t bad. During our fascinating tour of the Bordello, we found the price list posted up in Madame Ginger’s bedroom. Eight minutes was “the basic” session (let’s not kid ourselves, guys, that’s plenty of time). But there were other variations; you could go up to an hour, have a bubble bath, or purchase extra positions. The basic fare only included missionary.

Prices For Paid Love

The tour was compelling, often hilarious, occasionally sad and completely surprising. I had been expecting a staid, informative presentation of the prostitution racket in Idaho’s mining towns; not a bordello as it looked while still operating. We saw the girls’ music collections (Lionel Richie, Diana Ross), their reading selections (almost exclusively romance novels, which broke my heart), and wardrobes. We saw where they bathed, where they ate and, of course, where they worked.

Madame Ginger had expected to quickly return and resume business, but the FBI stuck around for years conducting a wide-ranging investigation into Wallace’s corrupt sheriff. When the Feds finally left, times had changed and bordellos were no longer a welcome enterprise in Wallace. With the money she had saved, Ginger moved to Coeur d’Alene and lived out the rest of her years in style.

Location on our Idaho Map

-All Of Our Published Travel Books

Bordello-Museum-Wallace
Protected-Love
Red-Light-District-USA
Idaho-TV-Room
Very-Old-Cable-Box
SEX-TRY-IT
Mannequin-Sex
Sexy-Magazine-Lady
Broken-Lady
Doll-Reflection
WHS-Uniform
Cuddle-Dog
Idaho Bra
Whore House
Paid-Love-Cocktail
Doll Lamp
Horizontel-Business
Plush Bed
Puff Polaroid
Strange-Things-Idaho
Round-Mirror
Idaho-Neglige
Wet Spot
Madame Ginger
Idaho-Bizarre
Innocent Swan
Fab Towels
Red-Room-Bordello
Sex Alarm
Paid Love On Time
Canadian-Dollar-Exhchange
Lady-Of-The-Night-Bath
Prostitution-Listerine
Mrs-Stewarts
Rote Spitze
Plavtex
Carpet Of Love
Arabic-Nights-Idaho
Other Posts You Might Like from Idaho ...and Buenos Aires
A Whirlwind Tour of Yellowstone ParkGoldbug Hot SpringsBoise's Basque BlockRadio La Colifata
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
October 16, 2012 at 2:51 am
11 comments »
  • October 16, 2012 at 4:05 amDiane

    I just had to Google A-200 pyrinate liquid… learned that it is LICE KILLING SHAMPOO. This was both an  interesting and sad look into a way of life most don’t think about.

  • October 16, 2012 at 12:57 pmChristopher

    Holy smokes! What a great experience, especially as a glance at what the 1980′s was really like. Sounds like Madame Ginger was a contemporary of Miss Mona from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas!

  • October 20, 2012 at 5:59 pmLAVA

    What’s up with the WHS marching band uniform hanging on the closet door?  LOL

    • October 20, 2012 at 10:34 pmJuergen

      Madame Ginger was a big supporter of the local community and also helped the Wallace High School. The school insisted to have a uniform submitted to the museum to show their appreciation.

    • October 21, 2013 at 6:07 pmjanet

      Ginger (madam) purchased them. ginger was very helpful for our community

  • October 28, 2012 at 8:13 pmAngela MacIsaac (@that_angela)

    Eesh … why do I find mannequins so creepy?

  • August 12, 2013 at 9:13 pmJeri

    Thanks for the great post. I grew up in Wallace, and I was in the fifth grade when the feds raided the town. I’ve toured the bordello once, but plan on doing so again with my husband this Labor Day weekend when I go for a visit. Plus, I hope to base my second novel on some sort of scenario that involves Wallace’s scandalous past. 

  • June 3, 2014 at 12:39 amKen Trickey

    I was in the Air Force stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. Only 19 in 1962 but had a car. We were all under 20 years old and I was still a virgin. Knocked on the door of the Oasis (at street level) and we were allowed to come upstairs. I think all of us were virgins. I had the car and out-ranked all the others, so when the paraded all the girls in front of us I had first choice. I picked “Jet” a beautiful dark-haried lady. Had a great time “arount the world” for $10. One of my greatest memories.

  • June 29, 2014 at 8:18 pmTessa

    One of the old girls who worked there came back for the tour. When she got to her old room she grabbed the black pegisus statue next to her old bed flipped it over and grabbed her tips out! LOL All of the lamps the girls would keep their money in which is why those doll lamps are in there. :) This tour is worth it I just loved it I took my Husband and then we went to 1313 resturaunt and bar. I can not wait to go back! So fun to learn history! :)


Trackbacks/Pingbacks
Don't be Shy, Leave a Comment!