Oasis Bordello Museum in Wallace, Idaho is the opposite of what I anticipated. Positioned on yet another brick lined block of shops, one might expect something playing up old west iconography. Yet, while it traces its origins to early mining clientele, it continued operation into the late 1980s. Instead of corsets and feather boas, the closets are filled with polyester bathing suites and sequin dresses.
What makes the museum particularly impressive is that, with the closing of the bordello, everything remained untouched until it was reopened as a museum. The dresses and frilly panties are not sourced from a secondhand store, they were abandoned by the girls when the Oasis closed. What is left is a story of entrepreneurship, social hypocrisy, and real people.