Many of us might remember our last experience with Titanic. For me it was in Junior High School, oh wait, it was when the Titanic film came out in 1997. The reason I bring it up is because I was able to learn a lot about the filming of the movie and the collection of movie attire in the limited behind the scenes gallery display during the 100 years celebration at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tenessee. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Kellogg Joslyn, Co-Owner and Executive Vice President of the Marketing, Sales, and Operations for Titanic Museum Attractions while attending Brandcation Blog Cabin 2012. She met a few of us up by the hat display and shared a unique story about bringing the hats to the United States and why the Titanic Museum has a Fish and Game license now. Mary Kellogg Joslyn is an amazing speaker and lights up a room with the information she shares. She shared with us her husband, John Joslyn’s passions behind the origination of the Titanic Museum. What better way to share the treasures of the past that were rescued throughout the century than housing them in a beautiful museum replicating many aspects of the ship itself.
When Boarding (entering) the Titanic museum you are handed a ticket with the name of a passenger on board. It is a very humbling moment because in effect you are honoring the memory of that person during your time there. I was handed the ticket of Marion Thayer, wife of John Thayer Jr., second vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. My ticket gave a brief synopsis of her life, what type of passenger she was and I knew that their 17 year old son, Jack, was also aboard the ship with them. As we started the tour we were told to keep an eye out for stories or personal belongings of our person. I didn’t see anything, but deep down I was hoping that when we made it to the end that Marion and her family was able to survive. I knew it would be a long shot that her husband and son would survive given their ages, but as a 1st class passenger there is always hope.
The tour is self guided, but there are crew members throughout the museum that share stories about the ship and the crew members. We ascended the replicated staircase in all it grandeur where we came to the state room I noticed a few young ladies, who were both eight years old, give their card to a crew member and she told them a little bit about who they were. These girls had been given the cards of sisters, Catherine and Margaret Murphy. They were 3rd class passengers so the room we were viewing would not have been theirs but she told them that these sisters were loving and caring and would gladly give their seat up on the lifeboat for another. It was very moving.
When I was leaving for this trip my own children 10 and eight were schooling me on facts about the Titanic. I was sad that they weren’t able to share this adventure with me, but glad that I was experiencing this on my own. It gave me time to take in the moments and view the details of each display. I was able to catch moments of these young girls playing and learning through different areas throughout the museum. I was able to interview them about their experience in the hands on area of the tour where they could see what it was like on the decks as the ship sank and touch the ice cold water. These girls were friends that had come for the weekend with their parents and siblings. They were laughing and curious and learned a lot while they were there. When I asked them both about their favorite part they were split between hanging on for dear life on the deck and learning about everything. For eight years old they were very mature about being interviewed. I thanked them and their fathers and we parted ways as we continued on our tour as they played.
Barb and I were in the Memorial room searching for our names when the two girls came in to find their names. We had already been informed as a group that they try their hardest not to give children names of passengers that have perished. They began with the list of those that didn’t make it of the 3rd class passengers. They poured over the names high above them on the wall. We watched as they got closer and closer until they finally found their names. They had survived. The girls were so excited that they hugged and were grinning ear to ear.
With some places I have visted I have felt like there is no need to come back because I have seen all that there can be seen. The Titanic Museum is not one of those places. There is so much to see here that you can spend hours upon hours discovering new things and the Galleries are ever changing. In 2013 the Titanic Museum will unveil new displays featuring the Children of the Titanic. Their stories will be on display in the Galleries of the Titanic in Pigeon Forge, TN and Branson, MO. You won’t want to miss out on this moving tribute next year.
Disclosure: This event was hosted by Brandfluential