Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Brighton, Colorado             High 85 Low 48

We left Cheyenne and drove to Brighton, Colorado where we are book docking for a few days. We got to Brighton at about noon.

Cindy wanted to see the Molly Brown Museum and we drove into Denver to see it. Along the way Cindy got some pictures of some of the buildings.

We found the Museum, which is in downtown Denver. When we got tickets for the next available tour, we had an hour to wait, so we watch a DVD in the gift shop about the life of Margaret Tobin Brown. The facts of her life are almost nothing like the way Hollywood has portrayed her. She never went by Molly but rather by Margaret or Maggie.

She was actually pretty well educated and fought for women’s rights. After she and her family moved to the US from Ireland, at age 18, she relocated to Leadville, Colorado, where she met James Joseph Brown. She had wanted to find a rich husband, but she fell in love with JJ, or as she called him, Jim Brown.

I don’t remember the year, but the US government stopped using silver for currency backing which caused a financial disaster for Colorado. Jim was a mining engineer and through his efforts in 1893 a substantial gold vein was found for his employers. They gave him stock in the company and a seat on the board of directors which made him a millionaire.

In 1894 they bought the Victorian mansion which now houses the museum in /Denver for $30,000. The following pictures are from inside the house.

 This looked like gold leaf but was actually wallpaper painted gold color.

Her daughters bedroom.

Her bedroom.

Extra bed room used by her parents until their deaths.

The bathroom was the only room in the home that hadn't been refurnished.

This was her son's bedroom.

The kitchen stove with some of the utensils.

Molly and Jim had two children and as she got older, she traveled extensively. While in Europe in 1912 she received word that her oldest grands0n was seriously ill so she booked passage on the first available ship to the US, which happened to be the Titanic.  She received the name Unsinkable Molly Brown from her efforts to help fellow passengers when the Titanic hit the iceberg.

 From Wikipedia: Brown had spent the first months of 1912 travelling in Egypt as part of the John Jacob Astor IV party, until she received word from Denver that her eldest grandchild Lawrence Palmer Brown Jr. was seriously ill. She immediately booked passage on the first available liner leaving for New York, the Titanic. Originally her daughter Helen was supposed to accompany her, but she decided to stay on in Paris, where she was studying at the Sorbonne. Brown was conveyed to the passenger liner RMS Titanic as a first class passenger on the evening of April 10th, aboard the tender SS Nomadic at Cherbourg, France.
The Titanic sank early on April 15, 1912, at around 2:20 a.m., after striking an iceberg at around 11:40 p.m.. Brown helped others board the lifeboats but was finally persuaded to leave the ship in Lifeboat No. 6.[1] Brown was later called "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" by authors because she helped in the ship's evacuation, taking an oar herself in her lifeboat and urging that the lifeboat go back and save more people. Her urgings were met with opposition from Quartermaster Robert Hichens, the crewman in charge of Lifeboat 6. Hichens was fearful that if they went back, the lifeboat would either be pulled down due to suction or the people in the water would swamp the boat in an effort to get inside. After several attempts to urge Hichens to turn back, Brown threatened to throw the crewman overboard.[1] Sources vary as to whether the boat went back and if they found anyone alive but Brown's efforts sealed her place in history, regardless.

We were told that she put on 12 sets of clothing before the ship sunk, which she shared with some of the ill prepared passengers on the life boat. 

She submitted the following claim to the ship-line after the sinking for her lost items, but they went bankrupt so she didn't get anything.
We found the tour very informative and enjoyed the mansion.

One the way back to our fiver, we got to see the first apartment building built in Denver (1890). It is now Condos. Cindy also got pictures of several other buildings and sculptures along the way.
 This was a pretty ornate apartment building for 1890.

This is the Denver Public Library.


Thanks for visiting.


  1. Great History lesson. You also just added another place to see when we return to the Southwest.
    Wishing Cindy a Happy Mothers Day.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. LOVE Denver ... lived there for a couple of years before having everything I owned stolen ... at which point I moved back to California!! LOL Lots of wonderful history there!! I love the story of Molly Brown ... she will be remembered forever.