One is struck by the vile nickname of “Putainville” – French for “whoreville”. Images of prostitution, drinking, gambling, and violence spring to mind.
Its chaotic beginnings earned Roc-d’Or its nickname early on. A June 22nd 1936 police report lists 25 illegal drinking establishments and nine prostitutes. Total population 175.
Gaming houses, illegal bars, and brothels were most active on payday every two weeks. Some “filles de joie” came to the squatter village on payday, twice a month. Others lived there.
Marielle Rioux raises the veil on prostitutes and illegal liquor in “Putainville”:
Roc-d’Or had a dozen bootleg establishments. In his autobiography, Jacques Miquelon mentions several. There was “chez Pauline, chez Gaby la Française, chez Ti-Blanc, chez Marthe la Belge.” The Liquor Police and Morality Squad raided them frequently.
With a name like “Putainville”, the village had not driven prostitution completely underground. Jacques Miquelon recalls that “customers go there as if to the grocery store, the pharmacy or the bank. Save a few devout souls, nobody is outraged.”