LAST CALL OF A TRUE FRONTIER BAR

Clockwise from top: Ghostly figures blur in the night outside Moe’s, a young couple toasts from the back window.Barb Moseley and staff raise their drinks, and Steve “Leprechaun” Caulfield plays a tune on the tarp-covered piano.

Story and Photos by Andrew Cremata

The end: Last look at Moe’s on its last night

September 27, 2007 was a bittersweet date for Skagwegians. The last cruise ship of the season sent revelers in search of an establishment to toast away the season, but it was the last time anyone will make such a toast at Moe’s Frontier Bar.
Closing night at Skagway’s oldest operating bar was a standing room only affair with locals commemorating the close with visitors from Canada and the Lower 48. Most of these out-of-town guests came specifically to hear the final last call.
These are just few of the random comments overheard amongst the closing chaos:
“It’s sad.”
“Where are we going to go NOW?”
“I love Moe’s!”
“It took me 10 minutes to get to the bathroom.”
Many toasts were shared by those who participated in the closing night festivities. Some were directed toward the bar and its founder Malcolm Moe, others to long-time bar manager Barb Moseley. Tears accompanied many of them.
Rumors of Moe’s closing had been circulating for two years, but word came down this summer the bar had been sold and was officially closing. Next year, the building will house a retail store, the exact nature of which is still unclear.
Since news of the closing became official, the handwriting was on the wall, most of it in the bathroom stalls.
Kim Long wrote a farewell poem on the wall of the ladies’ rest room which will soon be gutted and forever lost. It’s hard to imagine the right words to sum up 65 years of Skagway memories, but Long’s words prove sometimes you can find wisdom on a bathroom wall although it’s extremely unlikely in a men’s bathroom.

Here is that poem, printed in its entirety.

Years of laughter
Years of tears
Confessing crushes,
Exposing fears,
Babies births,
Comrades lost,
Money made,
Dinners “tossed”
Staying longer than we should
When we go “for one”
Who can really help it
When we’re having so much fun?
The “girls” are always there for us,
A welcome smile, a friendly cuss,
Whatever we need,
They always know better then us!
You can find out what you need to know,
Chain saw mix to melting snow
What wrench to use – turn lefty, righty?
Thank you boys, we love you mighty!
Moe’s is more than just a bar,
We’ve shared our lives
Our triumphs, our woes
We will miss you
“Our Haven”
MOE’S