Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Titanic Museum in Branson

When my family decided to take a short vacation in Branson, Missouri, I must say that a museum dedicated to the Titanic was not something I was expecting to find.
View of the museum as you pull into the parking lot.
Right off the main road through Branson's entertainment strip, at a fairly major intersection, sits the museum. They have signs, but they're not really necessary since the building is modeled to look like the front half of the luxury liner. With an iceberg, of course.
My Titanic passenger - Quigg Baxter.
When you first arrive and get your ticket, they also give you a card with information about a passenger or crew member that was on the Titanic when it went down. After you go through the whole museum, there's a wall near the end that tells you whether your person survived or perished. (Mine didn't make it.) It's a nice little personal touch to give everyone something to think about on the way through.

Cameras aren't allowed once you get inside, so I don't have anything to show of the actual displays. I thought they were very well put together, though. One of the first things you see is a scale model of the entire ship that took two full years to build, for instance. There are lots of artifacts from the Titanic herself or the Olympic, her sister ship. Everyone is given an audio tour handset to listen to as you go through the displays that adds some more information to what is posted.
Completely unrelated to the museum itself - this car, driven by a guy with a full white Santa beard, pulled up as we were waiting to go inside. The toy car key actually turns as the car is moving.
There are details on all the things you'd expect - the ship's size and construction, the three different passenger classes, the crew, details on the fatal crash. One whole room was devoted to the musicians who famously played on as the ship was going down, which I thought was one of the better parts of the entire tour. Lots of details on various individual passengers and crew as well, especially those with relatives who had saved some of their belongings.

And then there are things that I was surprised to see, such as information about the dogs that were on the ship. Apparently the butcher was in charge of keeping them fed and exercised. Impressive detail of research, that is, although I did note that they were unsure of the names or breeds of some of the pooches. There was also a room kept very cold that I assume was meant to give you an idea of what the night of the crash felt like, and an actual ice wall to touch on the way in. A bit overkill, perhaps, but it added some flavor to the experience.
A closer look at the side of the museum building, iceberg and all.
Southern Missouri isn't the first place I think of when the Titanic is mentioned, but I very much enjoyed this particular museum. They've done a good job with the displays and there's plenty of interesting information. Worth a stop if you're in the area.

No comments:

Post a Comment