The connection between the topic of this message and my work is tenuous to say the least, but it caught my eye. Readers may find it to be informative. A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, along with some friends, made a trip through the western states in the late 1940s. One of his stops was Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch. I thought little more about that until I read that the Craighead twins also stopped there on their way to catch a ship to Indian for their famous trip to visit their friend, Bapa, who was an Indian prince. They documented their stop at the “ranch” in Life with an Indian Prince, their account of the trip. My friend may have shared some knowledge about this attraction with the twins before their trip because they had confined their previous travel to places where wildlife could be studied. This time they studied a different kind of wildlife.
No, the “ranch” was not in Nevada. It was an attraction with the Golden Gate International Exposition that was held in 1939 and 1940 at Treasure Island in San Francisco. This event was also known as the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair. Rather than being located on the Great Plains or some grassy meadow, Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch was housed in a nightspot known as The Music Box. The Music Box was in the Treasure Island Amusement Zone, the place where “flesh” shows were found. The area was also known as the “Gayway.” But that wasn’t where it always was.
In 1936, Sally advertised across Texas for a few attractive young girls to work at her NUDE RANCH in Fort Worth, Texas. The bold-faced type surely eliminated any confusion that potential applicants may have had about what the work entailed at this Depression-era enterprise. Her requirements were also clear: “Can be any height. Perfect figures necessary. Highest salaries paid.”
For those interested in knowing more, follow this link: http://www.bisonbill.com/sallyranch1.html