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Updated: Sep The BC Assessment Authority puts the date as But it was a brothel from the get-go; that was around the time city council forced the red light district to move to Lake Street from the east end of Baker Street. Two dozen women worked there. The latter two were Japanese born. The census shows nine brothels with 43 women. Street addresses were listed this time, so we know Mamie Evans was the madam of Lake.
She was 26 and born in Prince Edward Island. Three other women worked there. The and civic directories for Nelson completely ignore Lake Street; the listings skip from Kootenay to Latimer street. Near as I can tell, none of the madams were listed either.
This must have been a deliberate omission by the publisher. On the census the most recent available , no brothels are listed. McDonald, who served in , tried to banish the brothels. He was not ultimately successful, but perhaps his crusade explains their absence from the census. Morrow only comments once on Front, on p.
According to Henri Roberts, who bought Lake in the mids, Genevieve Clark, alias Jenny Green, operated the brothel there until about She then sold the building to the Wong family, who ran it as a boarding house. The civic directory listed Mrs. Davis at Lake and Mrs. De Roy at and The owner was listed as C. The remaining brothels finally closed in That year , , and Lake were all listed as vacant.
The owner of Josephine was listed as T. Wong — although Tom Hong Wong died in Nelson in , age His wife Dan See inherited the building. She was also a director of Liberty Foods. According to Roberts, Mrs. Wong lived on the main floor, took in laundry, and rented out rooms on the upper storey. Coincidentally, she had two tenants named Wong, who were no relation: Wing Chong Wong died in at age He had been in Nelson for eight years, retiring as a restaurant cook in In , Wing Po Wong was also listed as residing at Josephine.