Once the largest silver producer in the world, Wallace became notorious for labor uprisings, hard drinking, gambling and prostitution. As late as 1991, illegal brothels openly flourished because locals believed that sex work prevented rape and bolstered the economy, so long as it was regulated and confined to a particular area of town. The madams enjoyed unprecedented status as influential businesswomen, community leaders and philanthropists, while elsewhere a growing aversion to the sex trade drove red-light districts underground. Dr. Heather Branstetter's research features previously unpublished archival materials and oral histories as she relates the intimate details of this unlikely story.
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