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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vice Zone – Ordinance #3 - Minot – 1897

 The third ordinance to be passed by the early Minot City Council in 1897 read: No persons shall in the City of Minot keep a “bawdy-house” or house of ill fame or other houses or buildings for the resort of prostitutes, or other persons for the purpose of prostitution… since this ordinance was passed in 1897 it would suggest the vice was considered a problem even then. The very first vice district it seems sprang up in a large coulee west of Minot, (the area now occupied by the Municipal Auditorium). When the occupants were forced out the next area in the late 1880’s was a separate area, like a small town, south of the city which disappeared about 1900. Things then got so bad in the west side of Downtown Minot, (First St SW) in the area of the now Federal building that a new ordinance was passed making it illegal to rent or own a house for questionable purposes. This ultimately forced the vice zone to the outside of Minot at the time to the area that eventually became known as Minot’s High Third Street.

1 comment:

  1. David, it looks like I cannot simply message you without creating an account somewhere, so I will ask here. Perhaps it will benefit other who thirst for knowledge too! Do you have any information on the Virginia? I have heard that it was a brothel but cannot be sure based on what I have found so far. It was either in or directly touching the red light district/High Third. It really sticks out on Broadway and I believe it should be preserved much better than it is, as a landmark for Minot. The name was The Virginia Flats, and the apartments seem to have always been situated as they are, leading me to believe they were simply residential apartments in a "convenient" location. ;) Also, there is an empty lot directly to the south of it with an entrance underground. It looks pretty scary, so I didn't venture in, but it looks like it may lead right underneath the Virginia! I hope to find out soon enough. I aspire to own that building one day and restore it to its original beauty inside and out, as well as this empty lot if possible. Do you know anything about either one?