Martinsville, Virginia


Historical Society to Host

By: John Phillips - President, Martinsville - Henry County Historical Society

October 7, 2022


Historical Society to Host

The Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society will host its monthly Lecture Series, “Behind Brothel Doors: The Business of Prostitution in Early America” with Jan Mackell Collins, on Sunday, October 16, 2022, at 3:00 P.M., at the Historic Henry County Courthouse.

Collins will present a socially acceptable program about why the prostitution industry was so important in the development of America and the West with details about the business itself and profiles of some favorite madams. For over fifty years, she has visited ghost towns and other forgotten historic spots all over the American West in search of how pioneers lived and survived during the 1800s. A historian and writer since 1989, she has given dozens of presentations, programs, speeches, appearances, and interviews on radio, on television, and in print. Her research, especially in the history of the prostitution industry, encompasses the entire western region of America and continues to expand. For more information, visit

Wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Sunday Afternoon Lecture series is free, made possible by corporate sponsors, Carter Bank & Trust and the Lester Group. The Historic Henry County Courthouse is fully handicap accessible.

John Phillips, Historical Society President, stated, “We welcome Jan to our community as she has moved here from out west. Her knowledge of the subject matter is unsurpassed, and we are fortunate to have her present in Martinsville. We cannot deny that prostitution existed and should learn from it and how it shaped history. Join us for this unique and intriguing topic.”