Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pearl DeVere-Cripple Creek Madam

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw 2014

Colette LaBate as Pearl DeVere
In 1897 Cripple Creek had rebuilt itself from the disastrous fire of 1896. The Cripple Creek-Victor mining district was booming. The labor war of 1893-94 was over and the miners had won a victory over mine owners for eight hour/$3.00 day. The women who entertained the miners were back. One little girl, Mabel Barbie, observed a funeral that she would later write about in her book, "Cripple Creek Days", that placed one of the madams of the district into our hearts and minds. That madam: Pearl DeVere. This gracious lady, thanks to Colette LaBate, has returned to answer some questions. Set back and listen.

What brought you to your current avocation- in other words how did you become a madam?

Although I became involved in the underworld through an acquaintance earlier, I chose to enter the profession as a business choice. I knew it would allow me the social access and upward mobility I desired.

Are you married or were you ever married?

Unofficially I  may have been married up to three times. Officially there is no known record that I was ever married.

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Pearls final resting place.

Do your 'employees' like working for you?

Yes. The luxury of my parlor house allowed for a fairly easy life for the time period.

If you could give young people any advice, what would it be?

Be thankful for your comfortable life and the amazing opportunities you have. You have choices that never existed for the people who came before you.

Final question, for you Colette,what about this character do you love and why?

Once she made her choice of profession, she made it the very best it could be. For that reason, even thought she was only in Cripple Creek for a few years, she remains one of its most renowned and beloved citizens.

Thank you Colette. For more information about Pearl you can hear her speak at the Historic Chapel in Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday August 24 at 2 pm. For more information contact: evergreencemeterysociety@yahoo.com

Historic Chapel, Evergreen Cemetery

You can also read more about the funeral in the book "Cripple Creek Days" by Mabel Barbee Lee


Jacquie Rogers said...

What a fun interview idea--would love to go to the show. :)

Renaissance Women said...

Thank you Jacquie. I don't know why I didn't think to do this earlier with the other speakers in this series. I have four speakers left in the series...we will see. Doris