More on Murder Bay

I received a fantastic email from Dave, who is doing research on this era and found some juicy details about the picture of C Street in Murder Bay: “In the middle of this picture are three buildings with a white facade, 1207-1211 C Street, known as the ‘Dutch Corral’ operated by a Swiss woman named Maria Egli from 1870 to 1888. (At that time the adjective ‘Dutch’ was used indifferently for Dutch, Germans, Swiss, Austrians and sometimes Scandinavians as well.) As you can imagine, all sorts of naughty business went on there.”

CRIMINAL COURT – Judge Olin.  National Republican, Sept. 8, 1871

Mary Eckler, on appeal from the Police Court, for keeping a bawdy-house.

In this case the prosecution first called Officer Vernon, who testified that he knows Mary Eckler. She keeps houses 1207, 1209 and 1211 C street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth streets northwest. It is called the “Dutch Corral. She lives there still, and has lived there for several years. A number of women live there. The reputation of these women for chastity is very bad; it is that of prostitutes. Had seen men going in there at all hours of the day and night till 4 o’clock in the morning. Defendant had told witness that the house was her house and the women her women; that she had told them she had told her women to keep within doors.


Taken Insane to St. Elizabeth’s.  Washington Post, Dec. 23, 1888

Mary Egli, “Dutch Mary,” the keeper of a house of unsavory character at Twelfth and C streets, has become insane and was yesterday removed to St. Elizabeth’s a raving maniac. Her house, known from one end of the country to the other, was a famously infamous place during the war. The place was a mine of wealth to its proprietress, and she is now, perhaps, the richest woman of her class in the city.

She is very old and has for some time exhibited symptoms of insanity. For the last few days she has been growing more violent, and yesterday she was committed to St. Elizabeth’s.


2 thoughts on “More on Murder Bay

  1. Alcione Amos

    I am interested on more information about Maria Egli and the Dutch Corral. I am producing an exhibit for the Smithsonian Institution where I would like to include her story. Could you help me?

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