On a recent Alaskan cruise on Celebrity Cruise Line’s ship Solstice, one of the stops was Ketchikan, the self-proclaimed ‘salmon capital of the world’. Before arriving at the various ports of call, the cruise line offers a variety of on board programs that are both educational and entertaining. For Ketchikan, a historian/entertainer, Miss Amanda, dressed in a red 1880’s era dress told a rapt audience about Ketchikan’s early history. One of the many interesting stories, was one about Dolly Copeland, the last legal madam of Ketchikan – and an interesting person. When we docked, I set out to ‘old town’ to take a tour of Dolly’s house. The house is now a museum, donated to the town by Dolly herself.
In my previous post, Red Lights on the Prairies, I learned that in many communities, while prostitution was very visible at the time, there is little documentation. Decent people’ just didn’t talk about it. Even less is known about the women themselves who worked in the trade. Dolly, is an exception. Here’s her story as it appears on the information sheet in Dolly’s house.
Here are a few photos of the inside of Dolly’s House.
You’re definitely on a roll with this theme, John. 😉
Ketchikan acknowledges that prostitution was an integral aspect of society. Alberta, on the other hand, tried to ignore or bury it. Interesting dichotomy.
That is interesting.
We were there last year during our 14 day Alaska land and sea trip. I loved the bright colors of the buildings there, especially Dolly house. I often wonder what it would have been like to live in that era. I always enjoy your insight on such different topics. Prostitution is the oldest profession around, so I hear.
It’s a side of history that mainstream history has largely ignored. Lots of material for a story or two!
I was here and toured the district.
Dolly is certainly an interesting character and a very sharp business woman. She lived in interesting times.