Maria Bickford

Portrait of Maria Bickford, a young woman whose 1845 murder (at the hands of her paramour) in Boston’s prostitution district was sensationalized and distorted by the press and the courts.

The title page of an anonymous fictional account of Maria Bickford’s life.

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Miss Catherine Augusta Lecompte aka Kate Alley

A well known Boston prostitute, who accumulated enough savings to operate her own brothel.

Helen Gurney aka Little Hel

More typical of the prostitute’s life pattern was Little Hel, who floated in and out of brothels to other jobs, marriage, and monogamous relationships with men or women during her prostitution career.

(Illustrations from The G’hals of Boston (Boston,1850), Uneasy Virtue

Dig offers peep at long-gone brothels

What a find today, The Boston Globe had an article in the Metro Section about items found during a 1993 archeological survey linked to the Big Dig and the vanished row houses on Endicote Street, show the trappings of a busy brothel aimed at the middle class customer.

It is so sad that Bostonians don’t want to add this collection to the History Museum. It is apart of Boston’s history though historians don’t want you to know. Three-thousand items were found and have not been publicized outside the academic and archeological circles. It would give us a window of what it was like in that trade. It seems Religion, Politics, and Prostitution seem to be our foundation roots, in that order, seems like a curse that keeps on giving.

In the biz they call this “cock-blocking”.

Mary Beaudry, Boston University professor, stood in front of the site of what was once a Boston brothel. Uncovered artifacts include a spittoon, carved bone toothbrushes, and a cosmetics jar.

Mary Beaudry, Boston University professor, stood in front of the site of what was once a Boston brothel. Uncovered artifacts include a spittoon, carved bone toothbrushes, and a cosmetics jar.

A spittoon was also found at the site. During the last half of the 19th century, the Endicott Street brothel would have faced serious competition for neighborhood customers. As many as 30 to 40 brothels were located in the North End.

A spittoon was also found at the site. During the last half of the 19th century, the Endicott Street brothel would have faced serious competition for neighborhood customers. As many as 30 to 40 brothels were located in the North End.

Numerous carved bone toothbrushes imported from London were found. The excavation site would have been 27 and 29 Endicott St. between 1860 and 1875. Housing records show this address probably was used as a brothel between 1852 and 1883.

Numerous carved bone toothbrushes imported from London were found. The excavation site would have been 27 and 29 Endicott St. between 1860 and 1875. Housing records show this address probably was used as a brothel between 1852 and 1883.

This cosmetics jar would have been used for face powder. Many of the prostitutes were farm girls or immigrants, usually under 25 years old, who had moved to Boston in search of jobs. A list of female tenants at Endicott Street in 1855 included Mary Colby, 20, from Ireland; Elina McMahon, 22, from Vermont; and Jane Clark, 19, from Massachusetts.

This cosmetics jar would have been used for face powder. Many of the prostitutes were farm girls or immigrants, usually under 25 years old, who had moved to Boston in search of jobs. A list of female tenants at Endicott Street in 1855 included Mary Colby, 20, from Ireland; Elina McMahon, 22, from Vermont; and Jane Clark, 19, from Massachusetts.

The Endicott Street brothel was located where the access ramps to Interstate 93 are today. More than 3,000 artifacts have been found at the site.

The Endicott Street brothel was located where the access ramps to Interstate 93 are today. More than 3,000 artifacts have been found at the site.

The Famous Beehive on the North End

I have been reading Uneasy Virtue and found this passage about the famous Beehive Brothel, besides being a brothel it was a dance hall and did not serve liquor.

The Beehive was a 3 story, coned shaped building on North Margin Street, owned by a widow named Marm Cooper, who lived with her two daughters, and a rotating population of prostitutes and their patrons. It was the first brothel to be attacked by a mob. in 1825 which grew to over 300 persons and went on for three days and nights along Ann Street (now North Street).

The brothels didn’t move far!

I have found some interesting information tonight, here is another. Really liked this from a blog I was reading.

The red light district then just slid down the hill to Boston’s first Combat Zone, old Scollay Square, now home to City Hall and the JFK Federal Building. How appropriate. At least people still get screwed there.

The brothels didn’t move far!

Male Brothels

I was doing research tonight and found that there were male brothels here in Boston.

Peg-Houses: Brothels go by many names: whore house, brothel… This one’s very special, though, for it comes from sailors circa the 1800s, who called a boy brothel “peg-houses,” and I can only imagine what “peg” means; I’m sure you can, too.

Things Gay Say