Roadtrippin’ 2022: A tour of the Red Onion Saloon

Roadtrippin’ 2022: A tour at the Red Onion Saloon
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:52 AM AKDT
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SKAGWAY, Alaska (KTUU) - The Red Onion Saloon is a historical landmark of Skagway that has been around for over a century, and it certainly has an interesting history.

It served as both a saloon and brothel during the height of the Klondike gold rush.

In the current day, it is a saloon and restaurant with a brothel museum upstairs. “The Quickie” is what they refer to as their 20-minute tour with a madam through the upstairs portion of the brothel museum.

Madam Rosy Peaks recounted the colorful history of the place, explaining that the building was put up in 1897 and one year later opened as a saloon and brothel, but was only open for the two years of the famous Klondike gold rush. She said it was one of the most luxurious brothels in the small town of Skagway.

“We had about 100,000 people stampede to Skagway, and Skagway is quite a small town, so at any given point, there were about 15,000 stampeders to only about 300 working girls,” Peaks said.

Each working girl was given the opportunity to decorate their room however they chose, Peaks said. The layers of wallpaper from the rooms are now the largest artifact in the museum.

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