The Chicken Ranch - The Worst-Kept Secret In Texas


Manage episode 296723665 series 2919086
By Koren Young and Arcay Studios. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The nation's oldest, continuously operating brothel opened for business in 1844. It operated out of a pine-board hotel during the early years but it's location had changed nearly a half dozen times during its history and had several different names, typically it was named after a reigning madam.

From the Civil War to World War I, especially during the four decades from 1870 to 1910, prostitution flourished in Texas. Every city had its red light districts and at least one vice district.

In 1929 when the stock market crashed it took a toll on The Chicken Ranch. Fares were reduced to fit supply and demand and the prostitution business started booming again. Miss Jessie, owner of the Chicken Ranch, had a great business mind and instinct. She converted her business to “Poultry Standard” …….one chicken per screw.

The Chicken Ranch received national attention when "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" on Broadway and then a movie starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds in 1982.

For this episode’s charity, we recommend making a contribution to the Sex Workers Outreach Project. They’re a national social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of people involved in the sex trade and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education and advocacy. Check them out at As always, send us a screenshot of your donation receipt and we’ll match it.

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