|elcome to the official website of Jayme Lynn Blaschke! If you're here looking for information on the infamous Chicken Ranch of La Grange, Texas, then you've come to the right place. I've written a book about that very same brothel, Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, coming August 1, 2016 from the History Press. Throughout the course of my research, I've probably learned more about the history of houses of ill-repute in Texas than is entirely healthy for one person to know.
2016 Book Tour Schedule
Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse has been six (actually, pushing seven) years in the making, but once you see the final product, I hope you'll agree it's been worth the wait. Dozens upon dozens of first-person interviews, hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of in-depth research, and a whole heck of a lot of photographs--many never before published--make this book one that will catch a lot of people's attention. This project consumed my life at times, but I have to say that I'm very, very pleased with how it turned out. Title: Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse (Landmarks)
Author: Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
List Price: $24.99 trade paperback
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GHOSTS OF THE CHICKEN RANCH now available!
August 1, 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of the closing of the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel of La Grange, Texas. In observance of that historical milestone, I, along with Lisa Elliott Blaschke, produced Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch, a fine art, coffee table-style book that takes readers on a visual tour of what remains of the famed brothel some four decades later. It is, essentially, a companion volume to Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, due August 1 from the History Press. Most companion volumes are traditionally published some time after the main book, as opposed to three years prior. Just think of this as an appetizer to whet your appetite for the main course. Ghosts of the Chicken Ranch is currently available in first edition hardback as well as a softcover edition.
Edna Milton (1928-2012)
Edna Milton Chadwell, otherwise known as Miss Edna, the last madam of the Chicken Ranch, passed away in February 2012 at the age of 84. My thoughts on her passing may be found here. Nobody supported my efforts to write a book on the history of the Chicken Ranch more than she did, and hope I'm able to live up to her expectations.
A (Very) Brief History of the Chicken Ranch
The Chicken Ranch's origins in La Grange date to 1844 during the time of the Republic of Texas, or to 1915, depending on which sources you give credence to. Either way, it became a long-established presence in Fayette County. From 1914 to 1961 Aunt Jessie Williams ran the house, establishing respectful relations with Sheriff Will Loessin and cultivating goodwill in the community with generous philanthropy. During the Great Depression (so the story goes) cash was so scarce that the prostitutes began to accept livestock in exchange for their services--poultry, in particular, became the payment of choice. In short order the brothel had earned the euphemistic "Chicken Ranch" name. When Miss Edna Milton took over as madam in 1961, she continued the charity work Aunt Jessie had started as well as the cooperative relationship with new Sheriff Jim Flournoy. In 1973 Marvin Zindler, a flamboyant consumer affairs reporter with KTRK-TV in Houston, received a tip from the attorney general's office that the brothel continued operations in defiance of Texas' anti-prostitution laws. Zindler's subsequent exposé led Governor Dolph Briscoe to order the permanent closure of the Chicken Ranch in August of 1973. One year later, Zindler and Flournoy would run into each other on the La Grange courthouse square, an encounter which left Zindler nursing several cracked ribs and shorn of his trademark silver toupée.
The story of the Chicken Ranch is as outrageous as it is improbable. My research has taken me to interesting places, introduced me to fascinating people and opened my eyes to an entirely unexpected era of Texas history. You're invited to come along for the ride...
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Most recent update: June 23, 2016