Monday, September 2, 2013

More of Wallace

More interesting things in Wallace.
The Oasis Bordello was still operating until 1988, yes, that right, 1988.  When some FBI arrived in town, the Oasis was notified and the girls left immediately, not even packing their clothes, toiletries or anything.  In fact, a sack of groceries still sat on the counter where it was left, not having time to put food away.  It was a false alert, since the FBI were actually after the corrupt sheriff.  But the owner of the bordello decided it was time to shut down anyway and the girls never returned.  The building sat vacant for some years, although several businesses tried to operate in the downstairs area.  Several years ago it was purchased and the new owner found the rooms upstairs in the same condition they were in when the girls left in 1988 and decided to open a museum.  If you ever get to Wallace, take the tour.

Downstairs in the basement was this old projector, purchased for $203 in 1909 for the Liberty Theater. It was given to West Valley High School in 1926 and used until 1937.  It was donated to the museum in 1993.

The original door into the Oasis and the start of our tour.

The girls toiletries are just as they were in 1988.

Each girl has a similar lamp, only the color of the lamp and doll is different.

You can now purchase the bordello "menu" as a hand towel, apron or even a t-shirt.
I can't begin to tell you of all the interesting things we heard on the tour, but it was estimated the girls could make $100,000 in one year and many were college students who worked only for a short season to finance their education.

The Sixth Street Melodrama.

Of course the play had to be about mining, I mean, we are in a mining community.  The play was "Mining Madness at the Mill or A Big Bang for Bunker Hill".

It was a small cast, but more talented than many melodrama's I've been too.

After the play they had songs and skits.  The most popular was the 3 act cow skit.  I won't give it away because it you go the WINs All Singles Dance Rally in Wickenburg, AZ, Nov 12-21, you just might see it performed at the Talent/No Talent Show.

Four of the six actors are related.  The older man and woman are husband and wife, Paul and Carol Roberts.   Paul is the English, Speech and Drama teacher at Kellogg High School.  His two daughters are also part of the show (one is in the black dress and one in the blue dress).  The taller girl in the red dress is new this season, but the young man, Wyatt Sepa-Newell, has been with the company since 2005 and he is just finishing high school.  He has also signed with a talent agency, so who knows, he may show up on Broadway some day.

The Northern Pacific Railroad Depot was built in 1902, but was moved to its current location, across the river, when I-90 was constructed.  The only president to visit Wallace was Teddy Roosevelt in 1903, where he welcomed with a parade.

The fixtures in this upstairs bathroom in the depot are original and were used by the residents, which would have been the depot train station master and his family and maybe some of the trainmen who were passing through.

Lana Turner grew up here as a child and came back to sell War Bonds during WWII.

The picture of this train wreck in 1903 captivated me.  An avalanche took out part of the S curve wooden trestle, causing one of its engines and a caboose to plunge 80 feet into 30 feet of snow.  Miraculously, no one was injured.

For more interesting facts on Wallace, check out this site:

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