THE SINNER: Pearl DeVere, Legendary Madam of Cripple Creek

A painting of a red-haired woman wearing a sleeveless green gown reclines in a chair holding a boquet of flowers.
Pearl DeVere (or possibly one of her “girls”)



Pearl DeVere was one of the most famous and successful madams in the history of the American West. From a suitably mysterious background, Pearl built a thriving business that became one of the most famed “parlor houses” in the country. Her incredible business acumen, as well as her famed beauty and charm, ensured that her legend endures to this day in the historic gold rush town of Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Recorded on location at the Old Homestead House Museum in Cripple Creek, Colorado.







All photos by Olivia Meikle unless otherwise attributed


Our guest is Charlotte Bumgarner. She has been Executive Director for Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway Association since 2001, and is one of its founding members. She first became involved with the Old Homestead House Museum as a tour guide in 1996, and is now the manager and protector of the museum. Preserving the culture and the land of Colorado is her passion.


Music featured in this episode included:


“Cripple Creek” performed by Half Pelican

“Aunt Hagar’s Blues” performed by The New Hot 5

“There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” performed by Daniel Henderson and Amanda Setlik Wilson

“Daemon’s Winder,” by The Earth Stringband

Our theme music is composed and performed by Daniel Foster Smith


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