I hesitated to post the journaling that goes with these pages because it may be too much information for some. It is a brothel and I did write a little bit about the life of the madam. Please be warned that these layouts about "Dolly's House" are not appropriate for children.
No. 24 Creek Street, Ketchikan, was the residence of Dolly Arthur. Dolly worked on Creek Street where fishermen, miners, and some more genteel characters, found entertainment and feminine companionship. Creek Street and its red light district prospered form the 1920's to the 1950's.
Thelma Dolly Copeland was born in Idaho in 1888. She had an unhappy childhood and left home at thirteen, moving to Montana and then to Vancouver, B.C., where she worked as a waitress. A Junoesque beauty, she soon collected a retinue of male admirers and candidly admitted, "By the time I was 18 or 19, I realized that I could make a lot more money from the attention of men than I could waiting on tables." She moved to Ketchikan, changed her name to Dolly Arthur, and set up her establishment at 24 Creek Street in 1919.
Dolly's house, however, was not only the place where she conducted business but also her longtime home. Her claim to present fame was simply because of the more than 50 years she spent on Creek Street. She bought the house in 1919 and was still living there, alone, in the early '70s. She became the last of the former ladies of the line to remain in residence on the creek until her death, which was 20 years after the red-light district was finally closed for good in 1954.
She is probably Ketchikan's most famous person today. She lies at peace in plot 4949 in Bayview Cemetery with men, strangers, buried next to her on either side. She would like that. Dolly said her attraction for men was one of her best traits. "I just liked men and they liked me, too!"
These pictures were taken inside Dolly’s house. The top pictures are quite interesting. She was given some condoms, which were made of silk at that time. It was suggested that she use them but she felt that they were a bad idea, condoms would never stop the spread of disease or prevent pregnancy. Not to waste them, she found another use for the condoms. She made little rosettes out of them and used them to decorate her shower curtain.
The photo with the double bed is Dolly’s bed. She “entertained” here in the early days but in her later days of “entertaining” she met a man whom she invited to share her bed for many years while she continued to “entertain” in another room. Apparently she cared about this man, even after she discovered he cheated on her. She demanded that he be faithful to her even though she continued to be a “working girl”. After his indiscretion she still allowed him to share her bed for several more years but never allowed him to enjoy her sexual favors again. Once he cheated on her it was the end of the intimate side of their relationship.
A display case is set up in the hallway outside Dolly’s bedroom. In it are many things that were in home including a generous lock of her braided hair and her personal vibrator with the box intact.
Before her death Dolly gave an extensive interview to a reporter who wrote a book about Dolly’s story. Dolly told the interview that she almost always worked alone. At one time or another there might be another girl working in the house but that was always temporary. Dolly ran the whole show herself.