Winona’s Charming Brothel of the Past

Rhen and I decided to kick it downtown this morning for our extended walk. I also wanted to check out this supposed brothel back in the day, and take a picture. It seemed like a wholesome enough family outing. I remember this place in the photo was called El Sid’s back in the seventies. It was suppose to be a “massage parlor”, you know where you would get your back rubbed? It was a seedy enough looking place. The windows were darkened and I never saw anyone going in or going out, but then again, I was pretty young and didn’t realize their customers probably stopped by at night.

Now, according to town lore, the row of half windows (that the Shumski’s banner is covering) you see above the display windows were supposedly the prostitutes’ rooms for meeting customers. Apparently they didn’t make the rooms tall enough to stand in because, well their business was done horizontally–which I think is just total bs. I simply don’t believe it because it caters to some weird twisted sexual fantasy that their work rooms were small and they were also chained up and had a water dish too. However it is funny to think that in their earnest efforts to be efficient and save space, they could be inadvertently turning away an entire subclass of business. Sure, horizontal sex would probably would be quite easy to get at home. Nothing weird about it. But maybe some men, wanted to have sex with their partners standing up? It’s sort of kinky, maybe kinky enough to have to visit a prostitute. Perhaps that is why it went out of business so quickly. It didn’t cater to the standers. Maybe they went to Carol’s, another massage parlor, for that sort of business. Carol’s was on Mankato Street, just about a block away from my elementary school. I think they sell carpet their now.

Leave a Reply