Red Onion Saloon

Red Onion Saloon was Skagway's most exclusive bordello. Built in 1897 with planks cut by Captain William Moore, founder of Skagway (Alaska), the brothel provided alcohol on the first floor and "other" entertainment performed on the second. The bartender kept ten dolls on the back bar for every room and girl. Whenever a girl was with a customer, he would lay the doll on its back until money was sent down copper tubes attached to each room. Some of the girls who worked at Red Onion Saloon were Popcorn Lil, Big Dessie, and Kitty Faith.

Ten years after its opening, business began to fall. Most of the girls moved northern to be closer to the goldfields, casinos and dance halls. As with numerous buildings, the saloon moved closer to the railroad depot in 1914. During World War II, the building was used as army barracks. Then, it went on to a laundry, bakery, television station, gift shop and union until finally turning back in to a saloon in 1980. Today, it operates as a bar and restaurant. The ten small rooms were transformed in to an office, Madame's Room, dressing rooms, and a refurbished bedroom.

Footsteps have been heard on the second floor. One employee got so spooked they called the police. When the authorities arrived, they witnessed a shadow run down the hall in to the Madame's Room. A shadow female has also been seen watering nonexisting flowers also in the Madame's Room. Another spirit waters the living plants when no one is around. Perfume is often smelled on the 2nd floor. Do the ladies of the evening continue to work at the Red Onion Saloon?


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