The Cannery Row Madam - Wednesday, October 21st  at 5:PM 

The Cannery Row Madam, Flora Woods still has untold stories to share. Flora Woods’ great-granddaughter, Tracy Shaw, has a tell-all history of Flora and Cannery Row from early in the 20th century.     

YouTube Video of this Session is HERE

Flora Woods infamous Bordello – was across the street from Ed Rickets Lab in Monterey from 1923 – 1941 as the Lone Star Café – which today is the location of Mackerel Jack's Trading Company in Monterrey.  

As you will hear in this session, Nettie (Flora’s daughter and our speaker’s grandmother), abhorred what Flora did for work, as Nettie was a staunch Christian.  Flora, in her later years, did give Nettie her written memoirs but she burned them.  So, in comes Tracy’s quest to compile both the facts and fiction about Flora’s life and times.

Especially at that time for any woman to be a business owner was tough.  Flora is described as having “balls of steel”, while she also did some charitable work as well.   In those times, Flora received frequent coverage in regional newspaper headlines, including custody trials and much more.  All the while, Flora had no apparent qualms about using her “leverage of private matters” in maneuvering the outcomes.

Flora Woods was portrayed at character of Dora, the brothel keeper in Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.  Operated from 1923 to 1941 as the Lone Star Café, the house of ill repute became famous in John Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday novels.   But wartime finally forced Woods out of business in 1941 when the California attorney general Earl Warren ordered all brothels in the state closed, and she died penniless in 1948.

These soundbites are just a part of the life and times of Flora Woods.  Tracy Shaw will reveal so much more on the who, what, where and when of her continued discovery of her great grandmother.    Tracy’s presentation on her great grandmother includes pictures, sound bites, family tree and quite a bit of humor to boot.

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John Steinbeck sits on top this Monterey Cannery Row Monument, as does his friend Ed Ricketts, many Cannery Row Businessmen, along with Flora and one of the girls.