The Vice-Laden Wild West

Soiled Dove

Soiled Dove

From whiskey, drugs, sporting women, and outlaws, to scandal, sex, sin, and saloons, the Wicked West was filled with both glitz and grits.

Though the vast majority of frontier settlers were hard-working men and women, there were plenty of others who lived life to the fullest – drinking, smoking, gambling, and often spending freely, and sometimes lavishly. Filled with numerous characters looking to make their fortunes, the Wild West was often rough, sometimes dangerous, and always unpredictable.

On these pages, you will find many of the notorious gamblers and scoundrels, as well as Painted Ladies, saloons of the Old West such as Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas, and the Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio, Texas. Take a stroll with infamous Madames including such names as Dora Dufran, “Chicago Joe” Hensley, Squirrel Tooth Alice as well as numerous other interesting characters.



Drugs in the Old West

Gambling in the Old West

George Devol – Card Sharp of the Old West

Faro in Tonapah, Nevada in 1905

Faro in Tonapah, Nevada in 1905

Faro or “Bucking the Tiger”

Frontier Gambler

Kitty Leroy – Lady Gambler & Gunfighter

Lou “The Fixer” Blonger & the Notorious Blonger Brothers Gang

Outcasts of Poker Flat

Soapy Smith – Bunco Man of the West

Poker Alice – Famous Frontier Gambler

Painted Ladies of the Old West

Big Nose Kate – Doc Holliday’s Sidekick

Eleanore Dumont – Madame Mustache Plays the West

Saloon lady

Saloon lady

Fannie Porter – San Antonio’s Famous Madam

Josephine “Chicago Joe” Hensley – Queen of Helena, Montana

Harlots of the Barbary Coast

Leading Madams of the Old West

Lottie Deno: Queen of the Paste Board Flippers

Monument to a Prostitute in Lusk, WY

The Painted Ladies of Deadwood Gulch

Pearl de Vere – Madam of Cripple Creek, CO

Texas Madame Squirrel Tooth Alice

Saloons of the Old West

Al Swearengen & the Notorious Gem Saloon

Legends General Store

Legends General Store

Saloon Cowboys

Saloon Art and Decor

Saloon Museums

Saloon Art, Advertising, & Photo Prints


Baby Doe and The Tabor Triangle

Scoundrels of the Old West


It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.  

– Abraham Lincoln