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Book Recommendation #2: “Guy Town by Gaslight”

South-Eye Ned

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This non-fiction book was Written by Richard Zelade, and published by Charleston London History Press in 2014. 

This is a history of vice in The First Ward of Austin, Texas, in the late 19th Century.  I thought it was going to cover saloons, but addresses gambling and prostitution, as well. 

The First Ward covers several city blocks north of the Colorado River and south of the State capitol building.  For Univ of TX alumni, this included an area that is currently served by some of today’s pubs and restaurants (but, not as raunchy).


Appropriately, this does not portray the area with any romanticism, but it’s an excellent historical read.  I used to eat at the Fado Irish pub with friends on 4th Street (it’s gone now), and I had no idea what transpired on that very spot over several decades a century ago until I read this book.


I recommend it for adults.  I did find a book on Texas saloons, which I haven’t read, yet.

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