The Red Onion Saloon In Skagway, Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Located in the gold mining town of Skagway, Alaska the Red Onion Saloon was originally a saloon on the main floor and a brothel on the second floor when it opened in 1898.

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Lucky for us, few things have changed at the infamous Red Onion.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

While it is no longer a brothel, the upper floor has been maintained the way it looked when it was a house of ill repute. Visitors can get guided tours from the “madams” of the Red Onion.

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

The lower level, while not explicitly a saloon, is a restaurant and pub with the original bar.

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

The Red Onion is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman known as Lydia, a former working gal.

The spirited staff of the venue delight in giving tours and talking about the Saloon’s storied and haunted past.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Below, some of the ladies of the house are shown seated on the historic wood-carved bar.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

You get the sense from looking at these photos that this would be a very fun place to work. Heck, it would be a very fun place to visit!

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Here’s a look at the main dining area (without people) so you can get a sense of the space.

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

But what are those things displayed high on the wall?

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Have a closer look…

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

That is The Red Onions’ prized collection of chamber pots. Yes indeed, actual historic bedpans.

Not the most appetizing thing to have in an eatery but kind of goes with the risque-themed decor.

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

From the antique bar to the collection of prostitute memorabilia, this place is full of historic quirkiness.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

If you are a paying customer, one of the charming madams will make an announcement from the back stairs and then lead you (and the group) up the “stairway to heaven”.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

When a tour is in progress, they switch the red light on. Wink, wink.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Guests can walk the same floors as the prostitutes and their patrons of the late 1800s, hear entertaining tales of the women who worked in those very rooms, and see the many artifacts they left behind.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

The second floor of the building is an absolute time capsule and many of the original decor items remain – even the wallpaper.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

There is so much to see…

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Below, some of the actual tokens the prostitutes used are on display…

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

It is absolutely FANTASTIC that the owners of this place have kept the upper floor in original condition. Although deteriorated over time, there is something so fascinating about being able to see the rooms as they were in the late 1800s.

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

A tour of this former brothel – frozen in time – is a must-do if you visit Skagway.

Just beware…

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

After all, it’s the ladies who make this place!

Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

Long live the Red Onion Saloon… an Alaskan original!

the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway Alaska

 

Sources:

https://www.redonion1898.com/

https://www.skagway.com/listing/red-onion-brothel-museum/81/

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3 thoughts on “The Red Onion Saloon In Skagway, Alaska

Add yours

  1. Oh my gosh I love this place! Pretty sure all saloons back then offered a brothel upstairs. This place is gorgeous and oh boy if these walls could talk. And the bed pansβ€¦πŸ˜‚.. is there any other information about this place? Like stories or the ghost of a past lady! Hard to say what any woman might do in those days given lack of employment opportunities. So ya do what ya gotta I guess! πŸ˜‚

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