One of Australia’s most notorious brothels has sold for more than $1million, leaving just one left in the once-thriving outback red-light district.
The site, known as Club 181 and Langtrees Kalgoorlie, has been sitting on Hay Street in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia since 1988 when owner Madam Mary-Anne Kenworthy bought it for $185,000 and transformed it into a brothel.
She spent about $2.3million building the 16-bedroom house and turning it into a brothel and museum before agreeing to sell in July last year for $1.5million.
Club 181 stopped operating in 2012 and will now be turned into accomodation for miners, leaving just one brothel behind on Hay Street – which had as many as 18 during its peak.
The tapas restaurant and hotel pictured on Hay Street, Kalgoorlie used to run as a notorious brothel that has since sold for $1.5million
Madam Mary-Anne Kenworthy (pictured) bought it for $185,000 in 1988 and turned it into the infamous brothel known as Club 181 and Langtrees Kalgoorlie
The site has since been turned into a tapas restaurant and hotel.
Madam Kenworthy said she would put the money towards operating her string of other brothels around Australia.
‘I spent a hell of a lot more on it than I got for it today, but it gave me a hell of a lot of fun and pleasure,’ she told the ABC.
The brothels remarkably sat on the same street as a police station and a court house – all while operating illegally.
And now the Church of Christ Kalgoorlie is being built across the road after moving from its original site to make way for a shopping centre.
‘(The Church) never would have happened 30 years ago,’ Madam Kenworthy said.
In the Kalgoorlie brothel there were several themed rooms including a boxing ring, a mine shaft and even a Roman orgy room.
Madam Kenworthy said to seperate the police station and the brothels, the street name changes from Hay Street to Brookman Street at a roundabout.
The madam also operates brothels in Perth, Darwin and Canberra which she said will now be the priority.
The selling of Club 181 leaves just one brothel standing in Kalgoorlie’s red light district – Questa Casa otherwise known as the Pink House (pictured with owner Madam Carmel)
Despite WA laws forbidding sex work, the brothel has operated on the doorstep of a police station for over a century
The selling of Club 181 leaves just one brothel standing in Kalgoorlie’s red light district – Questa Casa otherwise known as the Pink House.
The Pink House, owned by Madam Carmel, is also the longest running brothel and has sat across from the police station since the height of Australia’s gold rush in 1904.
Madam Carmel has had to shut her business that she’s ran for 28 years due to the spread of coronavirus.
The ‘domination room’ pictured inside the Pink House that has been running since 1904
On hearing about the church being built across the road, she said she wished them well but noted how much the town had changed.
‘When I first came here this was the wild west. People, even today, who come on the tour say ”I was here 27 years ago and it was so different”.
Madam Carmel previously told Daily Mail Australia that due to men flocking to the town for gold mining, business was once booming
‘Kalgoorlie is one-of-a-kind. Where else in the world would you find a street of brothels controlled by the council?’ she said.
‘Business was booming. There was men everywhere and the girls made a lot of money. It was alive.’
But customers became less and less and the brothel survives as a museum running daily tours.
One of the many bedrooms that is used in the Questa Casa brothel, the last and longest running brothel in Kalgoorlie