This is continued from page 1 which was already posted.
When the final occupants of the Oasis Rooms left in January 1988 (the last recorded date in the "hotel" registry), they seemed to have left in a hurry. Clothing, makeup, toiletries, food and personal items were all left behind. An accurate and tastefully-presented twenty-minute tour of the upper rooms explains the mystery of the ladies' hasty departure and gives a glimpse into the town's bawdy past with details that range from poignant to hilarious.
The main floor, which was once the saloon and later the main parlor for men to “wait their turn” is now an unusual gift shop adorned with murals that depict the realities of mining in an earlier era. At that time, Wallace men outnumbered women by nearly 200 to 1. The Oasis was one of five brothels operating without hindrance on Wallace's main street.
The Oasis really closed down by accident over a misunderstanding. The women, who were convinced that the FBI was about to raid the place fled in a panic in 1988 and never came back. Its current owners have preserved it exactly as it was on that night so the museum is also a time machine, providing a view of the late 1980s through the unique prism of prostitutes in Wallace, Idaho, right down to the J.C. Penney catalogs on the coffee table and the video store rental list taped to the kitchen wall.
According to Michelle Mayflower, owner of the Oasis Brothel Museum, more than 20 women who worked at the Oasis have returned to see the place, and to give her the details of its operation.
Throughout the brothel are mannequins dressed in the clothes of the girl who occupied and worked in the rooms. That made the tour more interesting and made it easier to visualize what the girl's lives were really like.
Visitors enter the brothel the way that its clients did, up a creaking set of stairs and through a triple-deadbolt door at the top of the stairs so an impatient visitor could not get to the girl's rooms at the top of the stairs without an invitation and escort.
Upstairs, adjacent to the door in the small foyer was a window which overlooked a flat rooftop. The girls often stepped outside through the window and sunned on the rooftop. Also trusted customers who were married or who wanted to be discreet could enter by climbing up to the roof level and entering through this window to be discreet.
The story will continue on page 3 which I hope to post today or tomorrow.