The Red Onion was the classiest dance hall and saloon in the bustling gold rush town of Skagway. Our upstairs bordello consisted of 10 cribs (or rooms). Each crib was very small in size, but elaborately decorated. The cribs all had 2 or 3 doors for escape purposes and temperature control.
A weary miner could wander into the Red Onion for a taste of “liquid courage” and a dance or two with a beautiful lady. When the time came to cure his thirst for some love and affection, the anxious gentleman would choose his girl in a very unique way. Behind the bar were 10 dolls that represented the 10 girls upstairs. As each customer would choose a doll of his choice, the bartender would then lay the doll on her back, indicating that that girl was “busy”. Once the gentleman came back down the stairs, the doll was sat upright so every customer in the bar knew that she was once again available.
The Red Onion Brothel Museum is filled with many antiques from the gold rush days. Many of the items on display were found in the brothel — others are part of the owner’s personal collection. Step back in time with one of our “madams” and enjoy the many stories that she has to share. Time in the Red Onion Saloon today in not complete without a peek at the famous Red Onion Brothel. And maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of Lydia our resident ghost.