Hooker's in SLC?

Written by

2015

We live in the ‘red dirt’ district of downtown SLC. Before paved roads, there was packed red dirt on 200 South on the west side by the Gateway. When men went down to visit the shady ladies of the whore houses in this area of Greek Town, they’d get the red dirt in the cuffs of their pants. If they were married men, their wives would know exactly where they had been and there would be big trouble.

       Sex workers have been in this state since the first brothels were established down by Camp Floyd, a short-lived U.S. Army post near Fairfield, Utah (@ 40 miles southwest of SLC). Women have followed military troops throughout centuries all over the world and Utah isn’t without sin. There was a state statute written in 1876 that prohibited the ‘keep of, residing in, or resorting to houses of ill-fame for the purpose of prostitution or lewdness.’ That didn’t stop men from wanting sex or women selling it.

        - The first hooker anyone knew about in the state was Ada Carroll. She was brought to Utah by W.W. Drummond, as associate justice of the Supreme Court of Utah as his paid concubine. He had been married with children but left his family in favor of this shady lady;

        - In 1886 the Deseret News reported that “There are now in the city some six brothels, forty tap rooms, a number of gambling houses, pool tables and other disreputable concerns all run by non-Mormons”.

        - In 1897 the JUNIOR Brigham Young resigned from the Brigham Young Trust Co. because it was discovered that property owned by the firm was being used as brothel on Commercial Street. However, church controlled real estate in the city leased to houses of prostitution up until @1941 when the First Presidency ordered such leases stopped.

        -Salt Lake City officials recruited Ogden’s most famous madam, Belle London to open up and run prostitutes in the Red Dirt District. She had up to 100 women working in cribs for about four years before she was run out of town and the building ripped down.

        Over a hundred years later, Salt Lake City is redoing one of the most famous naughty streets here into a swell place for art, brews and food to open in conjunction with the new Eccles Theater opening downtown in the spring of 2016.  Regent Street is between State and Main Street between 100 and 200 South behind the Broadway show venue.  It was originally known as “Commercial” and there were cribs (think the size of a modern day work cubicle) rented out nightly to the soiled doves who would sit at the top of the stairs and coo down at prospective clients to come on up for some fun.