Red light women and a notorious murder subject of lecture in Reno
Julia Bulette is perhaps the most infamous of the women who worked the red light districts of the late 1800s mining camps in Nevada and California, surely because of her murder in Virginia City in 1867.
But, as author Robin Flinchum discovered in her research, Bulette was hardly alone.
Flinchum is the featured speaker at the Nevada Historical Society’s monthly Writers’ Wednesday program on Wednesday, Aug. 8. The event starts with a book signing at 5 p.m. with the lecture starting at 5:30.
From the 1870s to the turn of the century, while countless men gambled their fortunes in Death Valley’s mines, many bold women capitalized on the boom-and-bust lifestyle and established saloons and brothels.
These lively ladies were clever entrepreneurs and fearless adventurers but also mothers, wives and respected members of their communities. Madam Lola Travis was one of the wealthiest single women in Inyo County in the 1870s. Known as Diamond Tooth Lil, Evelyn Hildegard was a poor immigrant girl who became a western legend.
In her book, “Red Light Women of Death Valley,” Flinchum chronicles the lives of these women and many others who were unafraid to live outside the bounds of polite society and risk everything for a better future in the forbidding Death Valley desert.
During her lecture, Flinchum will also detail how her research has prompted her to take a new look at Bulette’s murder.
The Writers’ Wednesday Lecture Series, held the second Wednesday of each month. The intent of the program is to highlight writers that specifically focus on Nevada, the Great Basin or the West in general. The authors talk about the content of their books, but also share details about the creative process.
Admission to Writers’ Wednesday is $5 for adults; free for members and children 17 and younger. Seating is limited and attendees are encouraged to arrive early to get their seats. For more information, call (775) 688-1190. The Nevada Historical Society is located at 1650 N. Virginia St.