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Brothel Dump?

nhpharm

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
1,920
48
Went out this Sunday with my 6 year old son to dig a promising spot I probed out last week. Ended up being one of the more colorful privies I have dug. Privy was roughly 3' wide x 6' long x 6' deep. Use layer was from about 3' to about 6', but the top 2' of that dated to around 1900-1910, and the bottom 1' was from the mid 1880's...I suspect they dug out an old privy and reused it. Nonetheless, it was loaded with bottles and capped with an old iron bed headboard. In the top 2' we dug at least 50 slick whiskey flasks (all but a pumpkinseed went back in the privy), 3 local pharmacy bottles, 2 local hutch sodas, a Galveston beer bottle, a Houston beer bottle, a Peterman's Bed Bug Destroyer (a clear script variation that I have never seen before...), several large perfume bottles, a bunch of Hoyt's cologne bottles, two Kilmer's U&O bottles, a pile of little cobalt blue ointment pots, two Gonorrhea cure bottles (Evan's Big G and A No. 1"), a D.D.D. Remedy for Eczema, and a few other odds and ends. In the bottom 1' (1880's stuff) we found next to nothing except an IXL Chill Cure bottle from M.D. Conklin, who was the predecessor of the Houston Drug Co. (I believe he was selling this stuff from around 1883-1895). Extremely excited about this bottle.

Based on the cross section of stuff I'm suspecting that for a time at least this place might have been a brothel.

Dug a second little barrel privy to cap off the day and came up with a nice L&W Hostetters.

The D.D.D. bottle is a bit of a puzzle. I am sure most everyone is familiar with the common bottles that are embossed in big letters "D.D.D." This stands for Decatur D. Dennis, who was a doctor who is listed in both the Galveston, Texas directory in 1899 and also appears to be listed in the Saint Louis, Missouri 1899 directory as a manufacturing chemist. The bottles that are embossed simply D.D.D. are from Chicago, when Decatur moved there in 1900 and sold the company. The company sold the D.D.D. medicine until the 1950's. In 1901 he was back in Texas and lived his life out here selling traps, working as a doctor, etc (he held at least a few patents as well). I have never seen this version of the D.D.D. bottles before and have to imagine that it is from when he was living in Galveston and presumably peddling his medicine here. Anyone ever seen this version of the D.D.D. bottles?
 

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bottlecrazy

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2008
186
18
Rhode Island
Hi nhpharm,

Nice dig! From your description of the bottles found, a brothel sounds like a gretty good guess. I wonder if there was a local "district" where such stuff went on back in the day, such as NOLA's Storyville? If so, and if the site you dug was in that district, that may solidify your hypothesis.
 

nhpharm

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
1,920
48
I'm digging about 2 blocks off the "officially recognized" early 1900's red light district in Galveston, so I'm pretty close.
 

nhpharm

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
1,920
48
I'll get a photo this evening hopefully. It was a pair of TX0291.3's. This is a tough variation to find if you are looking for all the variations of Galveston hutch sodas so I was pretty excited-I have one but it is cracked and was until Sunday the only one I had dug in 6 years of digging. These are the 1910's type where the glass is very brittle and they are almost always broken or cracked but the two I found were undamaged.
 

DanielinAk

Well-Known Member
May 4, 2017
104
18
What an outstanding dig. So much fun. Did your boy have fun? Congrats on the dig


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

stc1993

Active Member
Feb 18, 2018
38
8
Albany, GA
Some good ones. We had a place like that in my city. It was called Sandy Bottom, they say it was a wild place back during the prohibition time. They still had a knock knock club there when I was a young fellow in the early 70's.
 

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