Seattle in King County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
Lou Graham’s Sporting House
— 1989 Washington State Centennial —
Lou Graham, Seattle’s best known madam, opened her establishment on this site in 1888. Rebuilt in brick and expanded after the Great Fire in 1889, Graham’s parlor became the most elegant of Seattle’s bordellos during the city’s rough pioneer era. Graham catered to the “carriage trade,” entertaining government officials and members of Seattle’s first families. Her many land holdings made her one of the most prosperous women of her time. On her death in 1903, her estate was given to the public schools of King County.
[Seal of the City of Seattle, 1869]
Erected 1989 by Historic Seattle, Museum of History and Industry, Pioneer Square Businesses, and King County.
Location. 47° 36.047′ N, 122° 19.829′ W. Marker is in Seattle, Washington, in King County. Marker is at the intersection of South Washington Street and 3rd Avenue, South on South Washington Street. Marker is on the north exterior of the "Washington Court Building" which presently houses the Union Gospel Mission. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The White Chapel District (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Northern Tunnel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Birthplace of United Parcel Service (about 400 feet away); UPS - Celebrating 100 years of Service (about 400 feet away); Smith Tower (about 500 feet away); Interurban Building (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Interurban Building (about 600 feet away); Site of the Smaller Fort (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Seattle.
Regarding Lou Graham’s Sporting House. Some authorities dispute the allegation that Madame Graham's fortune went to finance Seattle's public schools, claiming that it was in fact willed to relatives living in Germany.
Also see . . .
1. "The Ballad of Lou Graham". (Submitted on September 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Seattle Madame. Wikipedia article on Lou Graham. (Submitted on September 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. Great Fire of 1889. Wikipedia article on the fire that destroyed Lou Graham's first building. (Submitted on September 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Categories. • Notable Persons • Notable Places •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,236 times since then and 50 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week October 11, 2009. Photos: 1. submitted on September 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2, 3. submitted on September 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.