Today in history…
Today in 1885; Montana Territory- the legislature banned “pernicious hurdy-gurdy” houses. Well then…
For all the romance, for all the movie representations about Spoiled Doves. we can name more stories of the pain of prostitution. Often a needed way to make money for women of the old west, prostitution was a dangerous and life sapping activity. Women were subject to beatings, disease, overwork and early death. Many women imported from other countries, were held as slaves dependent on their “owners” to survive. Their lives were sad and rough, Women from an early age entered into this system, starting in youth as a featured member of the house and often ending; older and worn out, in back alley cribs.
Widows, daughters, poor destitute women were forced due to circumstances to turn to prostitution to survive. There were few ways for a woman to make money, teaching, store keeping, millinery and prostitution were primary income sources, and the “good” jobs where few.
Upon the shoulders of these outcast ladies; great parts of our country were built.
Our hats are off to honor them!
We love the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival. We love the beautiful countryside, the wonderfully restored fort, the June weather. Every spring we head just a little west for days of revisiting old friends, the Swanson’s, the Patrick’s, the McCaffre’s, and more. The festival has lots to offer, art, mountain men, soldiers cowboys, wagons, , campfires, and fun.