Clockwise from top: Ghostly figures blur in the night outside Moes, 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 Moes 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 Moes Frontier Bar.
Closing night at Skagways 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:
Where are we going to go NOW?
I love Moes!
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 Moes 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. Its hard to imagine the right words to sum up 65 years of Skagway memories, but Longs words prove sometimes you can find wisdom on a bathroom wall although its extremely unlikely in a mens bathroom.
Here is that poem, printed in its entirety.
Years of laughter
Years of tears
Staying longer than we should
When we go for one
Who can really help it
When were 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!
Moes is more than just a bar,
Weve shared our lives
Our triumphs, our woes
We will miss you