Monday, March 31, 2014

Diamond Jessie Hayman and the 1906 San Fran Earthquake

             By: Andrew Nakamura
           When you hear the word prostitute what do you think?  Hearing this, in my opinion, makes me think of someone who just has sex all the time, who is nasty and gross, and who is just selling his or her self for money.  I believe that there are not many positive connotations with prostitutes and it today is still a topic that is being discussed.  However there is a person in our history that did help out her community after a devastating tragedy in a positive manor, her name is “Diamond” Jessie Hayman.
            Jessie Mellon moved out to San Francisco, CA to become a prostitute.  She was working for a Madam that went by the name Mrs. Nina Hayman.  Mellon soon settled down and got married where her mentor decided to leave the three story brothel to her.  This is where Jessie’s last name arises from.  She took Mrs. Nina’s last name as part of a tribute in her honor.  Jessie became the new Madam of the brothel that is located at 225 Ellis St. which is now called the Globetrotters Inn [1].  When hiring her employees to fill her brothel, she provided them with a generous and luxurious wardrobe.  It consisted of fur coats, tailored suits, hats, shoes etc.  This fancy wardrobe cost around six thousand dollars at the time, which was a lot of money for that time.  Hayman ran the brothel very successfully where bought a couple pieces of land in the city, which made her a very successful woman for that time as well.  In 1906 San Francisco was hit by a major earthquake and Hayman and her employees helped out the community [3].
            On April 18, 1906 the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck California.  Today it still ranks as the hardest hitting earthquake for that area.  San Francisco was the epicenter of the earthquake but was felt from places in Oregon, Los Angeles and all the way in Nevada for about a minute long.  The tragedy caused much damage throughout the city; it sparked many fires and caused a large amount of people their lives.  It is suspected that nearly 700 people throughout the quakes path perished, with 189 being outside the city. [2]
            Being known for her compassionate nature towards her employees, Hayman set out to help and assist people in need in her area.  Her brothel on 225 Ellis St. was unharmed by the quake and she and her employees helped by cooking for people in need from the house, and handed out clothes and other necessities’ to her community.  [1] Although this is just one small instance of positivity towards a community done by prostitutes, I think it shows that there can be positive outcomes from prostitutes in our society. 

[3] Moore, Crystal. “Sexual Commerce in Contemporary America.” Powerpoint. 2014. 19 March 2014. 

1 comment:

  1. Are you kidding me? If it were not for the pressure relief valve of prostitutes, men would go mad, and rape rates would go through the roof. There is a reason why they exist in every city, town and village in the world. The world needs them. If only it would treat them with the respect that the majority of them deserve.