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Author to discuss brothels in mining era Death Valley

Pahrump Valley Museum and Historical Society’s lecture series returns on Saturday with author Robin Flinchum.

The Tecopa resident will talk about her book entitled, “Red Light Women of Death Valley.”

Flinchum will provide the narrative of madam Dolly Franquelin, who sparred with Nye County commissioners in an effort to keep her brothel open at a time when reformers vowed to curb prostitution in Tonopah during the early twentieth century.

Museum Director Marilyn Davis said Franquelin was supported by some of the best legal counsel in the town.

The story, according to Davis, is not part of the book.

“She has done extensive research in getting together the information for her book, and it encompasses some of the ladies from Virginia City and other areas,” she said. “It’s another side of history that we don’t normally hear about and that’s what the women had to do to survive in the mining area. She fought the county commissioners up in Tonopah to keep her establishment open and what she had to go through, to do it. She is very entertaining.”

Flinchum, a former correspondent for the Pahrump Valley Times, Inyo Register and other newspapers of record, will have copies of her book for purchase.

The Pahrump Valley Museum and Historical Society is located at 401 East Basin Ave.

Saturday’s free lecture is scheduled for 1 p.m. For additional information call 775-751-1970.

Contact Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com

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