A WALKING TOUR OF NEVADA’S BROTHELS

by Uncle Pahgre

     Despite the infringing moral overtones associated with houses of ill repute, even the most Puritan among us has to admit that the existence of such pleasure palaces is as much a part of Americana as Toyotas and the New York Yankees. (I hesitate to employ the time worn analogy to mom and apple pie here considering the topic). No matter if one is client or critic, the naked truth is that brothels are legal in almost every country on the planet and in Nevada.

In the Silver State, revenue derived from this ongoing recreational pursuit makes up more than 20% of the gross product with gambling, ranching (the same thing these days), and limited mining shoring up the rest. Lumped together under tourism, prostitution/gambling is the state’s most lucrative industry. Proximity to the theocratic Beehive State, while not planned or appreciated from the start, does little to threaten the continued success in these aforementioned arenas.

Although the actual tour herein is much more enjoyable by automobile, bicycle or even golf cart, it is still possible to visit each of the sites listed by walking. And, since the lust pilgrim must at least enter the brothel on foot, the title will remain. Besides that, the author, whose activities on this merry trek have never been documented, likes the sound of it.

We will start in northwest Nevada and work our way down in a smooth flowing motion to Las Vegas where, surprisingly enough, the flesh sport is outlawed, at least within the city limits.

OUR RATING SYSTEM: *****Excellent ****Damn Good. Prices vary and are estimated by the number of $ at the end of each critique.

 

Verandas of Venus – Located between Orovada and Winnemucca this cat house was first opened by Wileena Cranapple, a former British school teacher who grew tired of long hours on her feet and decided to opt for other parts of the human anatomy for financial survival. She was a great student of Greek and Roman mythology and decorated her pleasure abode with statues imported from Athens, Rome, San Francisco and New Orleans. Cranapple was the first madam to lease land from the Forest Service, in nearby Humboldt National Forest, in order to expand her circle of influence. Today ski areas do the same. One of the “leagues'” original player/coaches, Wileena passed on in her sleep in 1972 at the tender age of 107. ***** $$$. Traveling east on Interstate 80 the seeker is about to enter a sinful zone known locally as El Camino del Bagnio.

 

 

The Canary Crib – Just over Emigrant Pass at Carlin, this remodeled railroad depot serves as the town’s meeting place during the day and the town’s meeting place through the night. Although the Crib, as it is affectionately called, offers a generous local’s discount, most of the business is from out of town. Upon entering the main parlor the gentleman caller is welcomed by the drama of red. Red carpet, red curtains, red furniture, red wallpaper abound. The only thing that isn’t red is the money in his pocket. A massive Ponderosa pine Christmas tree accentuates the atmosphere in the dining room while the stairway is made of Serbian mahogany. Upstairs there are some 17 small rooms each one named for a tropical bird. Both the Pelican and the Peacock offer decks and room service. ***** $$. Exhausted from the nickel tour we head further east to downtown Elko, first founded as a construction camp for railroad workers in 1869.

 

The Gilded Lilly – Apart from the main fare the Gilded Lilly offers snooker, poker and an assortment of board games in its lavish drawing room. The drinks are stiff and reasonably priced while the food leaves much to be desired. (We suggest you grab a pastrami on rye across the street at Lupanar’s Shoshoni/Jewish Deli instead). After a few moments the customer will notice that the entire building is lighted by candles. While one may think that is to cover for the lack of beauty present he will soon realize that it is only because the operator is too cheap to pay her electricity bill. Famous visitors to the Gilded Lilly include presidents, kings and television evangelists. This phenomenon is verified by the remarkable lack of names in the guest register. ***** $. We will now backtrack to a town aptly named Lovelock since a bus load of polygamists has reportedly landed in Wells.

 

The Poultry Nest – A short drive from Lovelock on state route 399 sits the Poultry Nest, a combination whorehouse/mining museum. Housed in a strict replica of the Nevada State Capitol, the Nest offers amenities far beyond the reach of the average romantic enthusiast. An olympic swimming pool, a weight room, a wine cellar and a rooftop terrarium are just the beginning. Each bedroom has a phone and cable television for the long term visitor. All of the hostesses are fluent in several languages including English. Most are college educated since the John C. Freemont Junior College offers free tuition to qualifying coeds. Besides matches, other desired souvenirs of the Nest include postcards, T-shirts, ash trays, group photos and, for especially good customers, a Certificate of Merit signed by all of the employees.***** $$$$

 

Maddie’s House of Delight – Just a hop, skip and a jump from the state capital at Carson City is Maddie’s, a bawdy house that gained historical status in 1990. Services are named after Nevada’s mining heritage with the “Big Bonanza”, the “Comstock Lode” and the “Hoover Dam” among the most popular. Thermal water from nearby hot springs, often draws tired casino workers and a host of bright light celebrities more interested in getting clean than in getting dirty. This is not the spot for the novice as the price for one hour is about that of a new set of Ben Hogans. Inside tip: Try the patented nectarous eyeball massage. Native tungsten fixtures adorn the living area while the narrow hallways are done in a sort of subtle, nouveau-atomic weapons test site motif. ***** $$$$$$$$. Now we’ll head south toward Las Vegas and its infamous strip.

 

Deseret Dessert – Just south of Hawthorne on Nevada Route 359 over Lucky Boy Pass sits a culinary marvel. Began as an establishment like the rest the Deseret soon became known for its food and not so much for its foolin around. Today the sporting house pays the rent at the dinner table offering a side of sin. Don’t miss the broiled lobster imported from Trepassey Bay or the Braised Salmon Almondine. For the more earthy tastes, the chicken fried steak is heavenly. Served with steamed okra and steamy, robust noodles, actually concocted by domicile courtesans on their day off, the fare is the best for 100 miles. The only other decent victuals are to be found at another less notable ranchito and fish fry dive, The Walker River  House, over in Babbitt. (Editor’s note: Sadly, the Dixie Darlene’s at Austin was closed for remodeling at the time of our venture and could not be reviewed).***** $$$$$.  Now it’s on to Las Vegas!

 

Little Sheebah’s – Route 160 at Pahrump, Little Sheebah’s is perhaps Nevada’s oldest brothel having been established in 1931, about ten minutes after the state legislature passed a law allowing such stimulating activity. Began in a tent the enterprise grew and soon began a mobile service from a post-war, three-wheel, travel trailer. In 1965 Little Sheebah passed on leaving the business to her gay son, Red.

An All-U-Can-Eat Buffet features rare roast beef, carved by former pro boxer, Lester Holgrahm, who at 260 effectively keeps the lid on the place.

Tip: Don’t go to Sheebah’s on three-day weekends or when the Japanese are holding a convention in nearby Las Vegas. Free mints. No pets. ***** $$$$.

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