Oil on canvas; 30x30; framed
This is part of my series "Oregon's Painted History" - which depicts some of the more colorful, less-known stories from bygone days in Oregon.
In the 1800s, many more men than women lived in Oregon so bordellos were in demand. Liverpool Liz was a strong businesswoman from England who ran a popular saloon (with a bordello upstairs) in Portland called the Senate Saloon—even though it was illegal for women to serve drinks in a bar.
When the first bicycle craze hit Portland in the late 1800s, Liz bought a bicycle park that included a saloon. To promote her venture, she put her working girls on bikes dressed in scandalous outfits (for the times) and sent them out on the streets to drum up business. “Respectable” women, fearing association with Liz’s outfit, took note and promptly retired their bicycles, some say leading to a decline in the bike trend.