The Amazing Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge #PFTitanicFAM

Titanic

The Titanic was billed as “The Unsinkable Ship” and, in 1912, people believed it. Yes, they knew that boats and ships could sink, but this ship was different. More than 15,000 workers labored for almost 3 years to create the majesty that was the Titanic, a ship that rivaled an 11-story building in height (17 stories in height if you count the smoke stacks) and was the length of nearly 3 football fields. Lavishly furnished rooms and a wealth of on-board offerings drew many to purchase a ticket for the ship’s maiden voyage.

Titanic in Belfast Dry Dock

Titanic at the Dry Dock in Belfast. Image courtesy of Free Irish Photos

Many called it the “Ship of Dreams,” as the hope was that this ship would carry many immigrants to America in its roomier quarters. Sadly, very few of the passengers and crew members ever made it to the promise land. The Titanic Museum pays tribute to all those aboard the Titanic and has taken great care in preserving the stories of the passengers and crew, as well as relics that have been retrieved from the ship itself.

Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge

The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN

While in Pigeon Forge, my family and I were given the opportunity to visit the Titanic Museum. It’s something I’ve been longing to see for years, as I’ve always been intrigued by stories of the Titanic. A review of my experience follows.

Take a stroll back in time and listen intently to the audio tour, easily activated by the push of a few buttons. Learn about how the ship was conceived, constructed and furnished. Feast your eyes on the many pictures, newspaper articles, artifacts and even letters from crew members and passengers to their associates and loved ones. Listen to the stories of the passengers – those of hope, those of despair and those of bravery.

The Story Behind the Titanic Boarding Passes

What I enjoyed most about The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge is that it gives you the opportunity to walk in the shoes of one of the many passengers as you accept your boarding pass. Each pass provides information about the person you represent as you walk through the doors. You may find pictures, their name on a letter or one of their belongings as you walk through the museum. Relive their story and find out if they were one of the lucky that survived one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.

My Titanic Boarding Pass Tells Edwina Troutt's Story

My Titanic Boarding Pass Tells the Story of Edwina Troutt, a Second Class Passenger Aboard the Titanic.

 

My passenger’s story was intriguing and I was determined to find out more as I walked through the museum. I can’t imagine the utter fear that everyone aboard the ship felt as it began to list…even more so as the ship literally broke in two. I walked through the museum, but with a 4-year old in tow, it was difficult to see it all. Little minds don’t concentrate well when they have an audio device that they can freely click, and looking for the next number was his primary goal during our time at the museum. It wasn’t until nearly the end of the tour that I found out the fate of my passenger. I won’t tell, as one of you may someday end up with this boarding pass and I want your journey to be just as exciting as mine was.

My Son's Titanic Boarding Pass Revealed the Story of Master Harold Johnson

My Son’s Titanic Boarding Pass Revealed the Story of Master Harold Johnson

My son’s boarding pass pulled at my heartstrings. As a mother, I can’t imagine having to part with my child. I cannot fathom the thought of sending him into a lifeboat with a stranger at his age, which is exactly the age of the boy on this boarding pass. However, I also can’t fathom the thought of not giving my son the chance for survival if an opportunity arose to save him. I would gladly lay down my life for him, but I would most definitely be heartbroken to see the terror and uncertainty in his precious eyes. When I read this story, I just couldn’t hold back my tears. This little boy must have been scared to death and I imagine he was for years to come. His poor mother, likely falling apart emotionally on board the sinking boat. I felt their pain and still do as I write this.

Rusty's Titanic Boarding Pass Revealed the Story of Passenger Joseph Laroche

My hubby’s Titanic Boarding Pass Revealed the Story of Passenger Joseph Laroche

Finally, my hubby’s boarding pass told the story of Joseph Laroche, a Haitian-born and French educated engineer who was on his way back to his homeland with his pregnant French white wife and two daughters. Racism was still quite rampant in 1912 and it hurt my heart to read his story. We also located a photograph of Joseph with his wife and two daughters and, again, the tears fell. They were such a beautiful family, but because they were a mixed-race family, they had already suffered a great deal of alienation. Had the color of his skin not been an issue, he likely would have never been aboard the Titanic in the first place. I won’t reveal his fate, but if you ever make it to the Titanic Museum, be sure to look him up. His gallantry deserves to be recognized.

Exploring the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge

We learned so much about the Titanic on our visit that I didn’t know. It fed my lifetime curiosity about this devastating event. We walked through the reconstructed hallways of the ship and viewed First, Second and Third Class rooms to see what life was like for the passengers of the Titanic before she sank.

We experienced the bitter cold that the passengers experienced as their trusted ship sank into the 28 degree waters of the North Atlantic. We also got to touch a real iceberg and see how long we could hold our hands in the icy cold water before we can’t stand it any longer. I couldn’t help but imagine my entire body being plunged into that same water, struggling to survive long enough for help to arrive. It brought tears to my eyes to think that this was what the last few moments of life were like for so many of the Titanic’s passengers.

The Titanic Museum opened up a new gallery this year – The Children of Titanic. It was a tribute for all of the young lives aboard. It was moving to say the least. So many sad stories of loss, but many happy stories as well.

Finally, and above all, we remembered those that were lost on the Titanic and those that were saved. Surely, that has to be the single most important aspect of the entire visit. Their experiences shaped our future. Those lives played a huge part in reshaping maritime regulations and the improved safety measures that we enjoy today.

If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. The experience was certainly one that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Have you ever visited the Titanic Museum? I’d love to hear about your experience!

 

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