Don’t Miss The Titanic Museum Attraction Branson
There are moments, people, and places that make a lasting impression on us. The Titanic Museum is one of those places. It is a monument to the lives that were lost on that tragic day. I’ve always heard that the best way to respect or honor those who are no longer with us is to tell their stories. This is exactly what the Titanic Museum does everyday.
I recently visited the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri. I’ve been before but this visit was so much more than just a self led tour. The day of my visit was the 107th Anniversary of that tragic day. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know right off the top of my head that it was the same day.
The evening of our visit, the museum invited us to participate in one of their special events that they host several times a year. We attended a Whodunit Murder Mystery while learning about the ship, several of the passengers and crew, as well as the series of events on that fateful night. As part of the events, one of the stewards was killed. It was up to us to figure out which of the crew members had motive and opportunity based on our interaction and interviews with them during our tour. By the way, I didn’t guess the correct crew member!
Since photography is not allowed inside the museum, unless otherwise noted, images were provided by Titanic Museum.
Just inside the doorway, there is a model of the Titanic that is simply amazing. Our host went into great detail about what made this ship so special. These facts are included in the audio tour that you can take, but so much of it is missed if you just wander around looking at items and reading the little cards. I never knew why the smoke stacks were tilted or that one of them was just for making the visual aesthetics of the ship balanced.
As we boarded the “Titanic”, we were given the name and information of one of the passengers. We became that person for the evening, learning about what they would have experienced over the next few days.
Depending on the “passenger class” you held, you were either treated to the finest of everything or given a room to share with your family (which as I understand it, was a huge improvement over previous cruise lines).
Artifacts on Display
As the evening progressed, we were shown around the museum and given details about the artifacts on display in the Branson location (there is also a Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN). I was surprised that there are over 400 personal and private artifacts on display. And many of these are being shared by the families for the first time any where in the world. The complete collection is valued at over 4,500,00 dollars.
While some of the artifacts were barely in tact, other things seemed to have just been set out for use. This really made an impact on me as I wandered from case to case looking at the items on display.
The Grand Staircase
The heart of the ship is of course, the Grand Staircase. It was constructed from the original Harland & Wolff plans including the oak carvings and cherub statue. Standing at the bottom, you can’t help but admire the craftsmanship. A magnificent glass dome reflects the lights off oak wall paneling and railings. The detail work is breathtakingly beautiful. Massive landings provided a spectacular entrance area where the guests of the RMS Titanic would have made their appearances each evening. They were made to allow guests to see and been seen as they walked down the stairs.
As we made our way around the museum, we entered the music room. Give a pause for a minute to think about the musicians on the Titanic. They didn’t know each other, and were most likely hired for passage to the United States. And yet, they stayed in place and played until the ship went down. Their music was said to have kept passengers calm for longer than imagined as the ship slowly filled with water. Their stories make them heroes in my book.
Life Vests and Boats
Working our way up towards the decks and where the lifeboats would have been located. Here we experienced what the tilting decks would have been like and the frigid 28 degree water.
Wall of Survivors
Once you have completed the tour, you can discover the fate of the passenger or crew that you were given upon boarding the Titanic. Names line the wall listed by passenger class and crew. Would you have survived? What did you do with the rest of your life if you were one of the few survivors? The name that I was given belonged to a lady that survived and strange as it may seem, lived within 75 miles of my home.
There are no survivors still living
Eliza Gladys “Millvina” Dean (2 February 1912 – 31 May 2009) was a British civil servant, cartographer, and the last survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. At only nine weeks of age, she was also the youngest passenger aboard the ship. She along with her mother and brother survived. Her father remained on board to help others. His body was never recovered.
One thought that kept running through my mind while walking around, was that it is such a shame that it takes a tragic event before most safety laws are enacted. There were not enough life vests or life boats to rescue the passengers and crew. There were no drills or instructions given to the passengers should the unspeakable happen. I promise I will no longer roll my eyes and just wish the practice fire drill was over the next time I go on a cruise.
How do we remember
So once again I will say – the best way to respect or honor those who are no longer with us is to tell their stories. The Titanic Museum does a wonderful job of honoring the passengers and crew.
For more information on scheduling a visit or purchasing tickets to the Titanic Museum, visit their site or call the ticket office Toll Free: 800/381-7670.
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