The town site of Cripple Creek was laid out shortly after the discovery of gold by Horace Bennett, a Denver realtor, with his partner, Julius Myers, naming the street after each of them. Bennett Avenue became the main street of the town and of finance. Unfortunately for Julius Myers, this street became famous as the most notorious street of sin in the West.
The location of "The Old Homestead", only remaining memorable parlor house, also known as a "Whore" House, on this street which was once crowned with pleasures of every type, patronized by men from the lowliest miner to the most respectable business man.
"The Old Homestead", was built by Miss Isabel Martin in 1896, a fact verified by handwritings still legible on the end of a sliding door.
That "The Old Homestead" was a most elegant establishment can be determined through the Cripple Creek City Directory, which lists a cook, housekeeper, two chamber maids, two butlers and a musician as employees. The last known "Madam" of this house was Hazel Vernon who presided over the "Business" from 1897 to 1916. One of the well know "Girls" at "The Old Homestead" was Lola Livingston, who later took over the next door Mikado, once know[n] as the Harlem Club. Quarters were also provided for the house keeper, and on the back of the lot, in a red brick building (which has since been torn down) the house kept a few colored girls.
The long row of small buildings on the alley west of the "The Old Homestead" are all that remain of the "Cribs" which once operated in the area. These were independent establishments for a lone woman, (these buildings have since been torn down).
Directly across the street from "The Old Homestead" was Crapper Jack's Saloon and Gambling House. The old foundations to the west of the power line are those of the Grand Opera House, where it is reported the first indoor rodeo in the United States was held. Several variety theatres flourished in the block. Other businesses located in this area including the Colorado Liquor House, John Roth Saloon, Abbey Saloon, Imperial Dance Hall and Saloon, Bijou and Tivoli Saloons, Red Light Dance Hall, the Manhattan Restaurant and a large Gospel Hall.