Hilma Burt

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Basin Street, New Orleans. Hilma Burt's brothel is the second building from the left

Hilma Burt (sometimes misspelled Helma or Hilda Burthe or Burtte)[1] was a brothel madam in Storyville, New Orleans during the early twentieth century. This area, also known as "The District", permitted legalized prostitution from 1897 to 1917 and became the best known area for prostitution in the nation.

Until the district was closed in 1917, Burt operated a lavish brothel on Basin Street, The composer and pianist Jelly Roll Morton was employed by Burt, while still a youth, to entertain customers.[2]

It was rumored that she was mistress to political boss and 4th Ward Representative to the State Legislature (1904-1920), Tom Anderson.[3]


  1. ^ Al Rose (1974). Storyville, New Orleans, being an authentic, illustrated account of the notorious red-light district. University of Alabama Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-8173-4403-0.
  2. ^ Alan Lomax (1950). Mister Jelly Roll: the fortunes of Jelly Roll Morton, New Orleans Creole and "inventor of jazz" (2001 ed.). University of California Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-520-22530-5.
  3. ^ Gill, James. Lords of misrule: Mardi Gras and the politics of race in New Orleans. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1997. p169