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Dec 5, 2012 2:31 PM by Katy Harris - MTN News

Historic Butte brothel to get new life

BUTTE - The historic Dumas Brothel is coming back to life, and reporter Katy Harris got a history lesson about the building, as well as a first hand look at how the work on the building is progressing.

"I want to see the Dumas restored and brought back and to capture the essence of its life and what it was and how it existed. When you see the large parlor rooms and those large pocket doors that open up and you can vision what it was like for the people that came here and the women that worked in this building. It was a grand parlor house," brothel co-owner Michael Piche explained.

The Dumas Brothel was bought by new owners in June, and now the inside has been cleaned, crumbling plaster has been removed and the fallen down bricks have been repaired. One of the goals is to restore the buildings foundation, and even that part of the building holds historical value.

"The Dumas has an actual escape route that customers and the girls that worked here would use. It would go underneath the building and connect to tunnels underground.

The owners are also going to restore the historic Venus Alley located behind the Dumas, and were able to bet the original bricks from the alley, which will be graded and repaved with the original bricks.

Lower class prostitutes and miners were often found in Venus Alley. "We feel that Venus Alley is also a very important part of the whole story and that is something that needs preserved also," co-owner Travis Eskelsen said.

Summer tours will be available next year, but the long-term goal would be to possibly turn the Dumas Brothel into a bed and breakfast. The basement could be turned into a museum.

"It needs to be around. It needs to be here for the rest of the community and the people who want to visit it. I don't really consider myself a person that really owns the Dumas. I feel more like we're just stewards of the place for now," Piche concluded.

The Dumas Brothel was built in 1890.

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