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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Touring the Unsinkable Molly Brown House

Most know her as “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown from the Titanic voyage, but she actually preferred to go by Maggie or Margaret, at least according to my tour guide at the Molly Brown House in Denver.
Just a few short blocks from the Colorado State Capitol, along tree lined Pennsylvania Street, sits the Brown home. Margaret and her husband, James Joseph Brown, purchased the residence shortly after they struck it rich with a silver mine investment in Leadville, Colorado.
Due to some squabbling with the Brown’s children and Margaret after J.J.’s death, the house was sold off in an auction. For many years it was used as a boarding home, but over time it was just left to rot. It was even scheduled to be torn down, but in the 1970s a group known as Historic Denver Inc. purchased the property and brought it back to its former glory.
Many of the decorations inside the house, in which photos aren’t allowed, are the original that Maggie purchased herself. A lot of the items though, since the originals are missing from the auction, are replicas of what was in the home. The matches were all knowingly made thanks to pictures that the Browns had taken just after relocating.
The home is now a museum to remember the Unsinkable Molly Brown, a philanthropist and activist who is best known for her part in the Titanic. But, that’s usually where the association ends since most don’t know her role in that voyage.
According to our tour guide, who was so anxious it appeared she would’ve rather been at a dental appointment, Margaret was returning from a year long world vacation with her daughter, Catherine, when she found out there was a sickness in the family. Catherine decided to stay with some friends in Europe while Margaret arranged for the most immediate transportation home from Egypt.
This trip just so happened to be on the Titanic.
When the ship struck the iceberg, Maggie put on as much of her clothing so she’d stay warm in her life boat. But, the feminist that she was, she wouldn’t go ahead of the men. Instead she worked with the crew to get everyone, men too, on board the life boats and to safety. A crew member became so annoyed by this though that he threw her into a boat as it was being lowered into the North Atlantic.
Once the Carpathia arrived for the rescue, Maggie made sure to collect donations for the third class passengers who lost everything. When the upper class passengers wouldn’t help, she made sure to post a list of who did and didn’t help each day on the ship; quickly donations came in for the passengers. And after they docked in New York City, Maggie made sure everyone had lodgings; she even went so far as to allow a Russian immigrant to stay with her at her hotel.
The Molly Brown House sits in the Capitol Hill Neighborhood southeast of Downtown Denver as a tribute to a lady with a wonderful story. It is definitely well worth a visit, which can only be done by guided tour. Plan a good 90 minutes for the tour, with an additional small museum in the rear of the home as well as a visit to the gift shop in the old carriage house.

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