The block where City Hall now lies — Capital to 6th Streets on Main — used to be the business of a man named George “Joe” Levy, known around town as the French Bohemian. During the time of Joe Levy’s business, a legitimate business owner by the name of Davis Levy, a baker with the best biscuits in town, is often confused with Joe. But they are indeed very different Levys.
The block that Joe Levy occupied was a collection of “legitimate businesses”, most of which were saloons, dance halls and the like. In the back, however, were his collection of Soiled Doves. Prostitutes. They preffered the afore mentioned term, however, as it provided them with more of a gentlewomanly appearance. One of the bars he owned, with the most bar fights and most…ahem…business, was called the Bucket of Blood. Just the place to go and relax after a hard day at Pioneer Tent and Awning (just down the street on 6th, the horse is still on top of the building).
Levy was not necessarily known for his personable attitude, and that was made known on several occassions. His main competetor was the 444 Club on Idaho Street, once the largest brothel in Boise, in the building where Java now lies. There was also business going on across the street from Levy’s at the Adlemann Building. It is believed, however, that the woman killed in the basement by a drunk patron was indeed one of Levy’s Doves. But perhaps the most apparent detail of his bad attitude came when he was sick of his landlord bothering him for money. So he killed him and ran off to Portland. He was sighted after this, but no confirmed encounters; it is believed he made his way back to France.
After Levy had gone and his businesses were slowly shutting down, the first vacated building on the corner of Idaho and Capital, behind the then current businesses, was opened as one of the first schoolhouses in Boise. What better neighbors for small children could be imagined?
Eventually, the buildings were demolished and the entire street taken up by the City Hall, torn down and redone years later.
If you listen closely in the Adelmann you can hear a fight between a man and woman; Levy and an employee? Perhaps the poor girl killed by the drunkard? It is believed by some, however, that the essence of Levy can still be felt at times even in our new City Hall. Perhaps he came back from France to watch over his new Doves of Main Street.