Idaho Madams

by Milana Marsenich

published by Farcountry Press

  • Fur, silver, and gold first lured men to Idaho Territory. Women soon followed. And what women they were! Molly B'Damn, Peg Leg Annie, Spanish Belle, Lou Beevers, Diamond Tooth Lil—the names alone promised excitement and intrigue.

    In fact, these madams led complex, turbulent lives. Meet Maggie Hall, a devout Catholic whose husband used her to pay off his gambling debts. Working as a prostitute, Maggie made her way west and, as Molly B'Damn, became the guardian angel of an Idaho mining camp. Or Annie McIntyre, a young girl among the prospectors and ne'er do wells of Rocky Bar who amassed a small fortune as the local madam only to lose it all—along with both her legs.

    Idaho Madams uncovers the enigmatic and salacious lives of 30 women who ran brothels in the Gem State from the 1850s to the 1980s. Here are the hedonistic and sometimes heroic exploits of Effie Rogan, Jennie Girard, Nettie Bowen, Ginger Murphy, Dixie Colton, and Dot Allen, but also the unsung sagas of Carrie Young, Grace Freeman, Willow Herman, Hattie Carlton, and many more. As told by author Milana Marsenich, the stories of these women come alive with voluptuous detail, historical photographs, and the social context of the times.

160 pages, 6 x 9, 33 b/w photos, index

ISBN 10: 156037750X
ISBN 13: 978-1-56037-750-4

March 2023

  • Laura Award-winning author and finalist for the Spur and Willa Literary Awards
  • Untold stories from Idaho history
  • Full of archival images





Idaho Madams

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Milana Marsenich align= Milana Marsenich lives in northwest Montana at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains, where she enjoys hiking with friends and dogs. As a natural listener and therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. These qualities were common in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky, her first novel. Copper Sky was a 2018 Spur Award finalist. Her second novel, The Swan Keeper, was a 2019 Willa Literary Award finalist. Her short story “Wild Dogs” won the 2020 Laura Award for short fiction. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, Moronic Ox, Book Glow, and Feminist Studies.

FARCOUNTRY PRESS  ·  P.O. BOX 5630  ·  HELENA, MT  ·  59604  ·  1-800-821-3874  ·  406-422-1263