Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cozy Rooms

Not all of Pendleton's questionable businesses were underground. At one point there were 18 brothels, which were typically located on the second floor of the downtown buildings. Potential customers would stand on the sidewalk below and flirt with the ladies sitting in the upstairs windows.

The most famous brothel was Cozy Rooms, run by Madam Stella Darby.

Madam Darby was said to treat her girls well and keep a clean establishment. There is a bronze statue on Main Street, right in front of the door to the Cozy Rooms. 

Once through the front door, you headed up this steep staircase. Perhaps a test of fitness before you arrived in the parlor?

Here in the parlor you met with Madam Darby and settled your business. You received a Cozy Room Token which you deposited at the room of your chosen lady. 

Miss Stella's bedroom was located right off of the parlor. As the Madam she didn't conduct any "business" in her room, but kept on eye on things. 

Even though she was on good terms with local officials, she had a secret escape passage in the back of her closet. 

From her closet, a small passage exited into the closet of the next room. That room was the bouncer's and gave access to a back stairway for escape. 

Back to business!  Once a client met with Madam Darby and received a Cozy Rooms Token, he entered this hallway which led to the rooms. 

Each lady had two rooms. A room off of the hallway was where business was conducted. 

Another room on the outside wall was where the ladies actually lived. They had an window and were allowed to decorate their rooms. Having a separate living area was one of the advantages of working for Madam Darby. In many brothels the ladies conducted business in the same room that they slept in. 

At the end of the tour we were taken to a museum where various items found in The Underground were displayed. Among these were Cozy Room Tokens as well as tokens from other establishments. 

Also displayed was some Pendleton Script. Like many other towns, Pendleton printed their own money that was spent with local businesses. 

A final curiosity was this tobacco ad. "Worry kills more men than bullets do, and a good tobacco kills more worry than anything else I know." 


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