The Unsinkable Molly Brown House

June 11, 2023

Molly Brown was an American socialite and philanthropist. She is known today as the unsinkable Molly Brown, after surviving the sinking of the RMS Titanic. She was portrayed by legendary actress Kathy Bates in the 1997 movie Titanic. Molly was a passenger in lifeboat number 6. She famously, and sadly unsuccessfully, urged the lifeboat to head back and rescue more passengers stranded in the water, as there was enough room for more people. She was born in 1867, and at age 18 she moved to Leadville, CO where she found work sewing carpets and draperies at a dry goods store. In 1886 she married James Joseph Brown. James was poor, and even though Molly imagined marrying for money, as she and her family were poor themselves, she ultimately fell deeply in love with James. Even though they struggled financially, Molly never regretted marrying James. “I decided that I'd be better off with a poor man whom I loved than with a wealthy one whose money had attracted me. So I married Jim Brown” In 1912 Molly was in Paris visiting her daughter, when she received word from home that her grandchild was very ill. This caused her to board the Titanic and sail home. When the ship sank, her lifeboat was rescued by the RMS Carpathia, and Molly immediately organized a committee to secure basic necessities for the second and third class survivors, as well as providing counseling. Molly’s life after the horrific events of the Titanic were an inspiration. In 1914, six years before women has the right to vote, she ran for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat. She suspended her campaign to serve abroad as the director of the American Committee for Devastated France during World War I. At the age of 65, Molly died in her sleep. A later autopsy proved to be a brain tumor. In 1985, she was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. “It makes no difference to me where I go. I am ready to go anywhere I am needed.”

Credit: Wikipedia

Molly Brown's house was built in 1889. It was designed by architect William A. Lang, and is a Queen Ann style Victorian. In 1894 her husband James Joseph Brown purchased the home for $30,000, before transferring the deed to Molly in 1898. Molly would often rent her home as she would travel a lot. In 1902 it became a temporary Governor's mansion while the permanent Governor's mansion underwent a remodel. Then in 1926 Molly turned her home into a boarding house. In 1932, after Molly's death, the home was sold for $6,000 and would become a rooming house for men, and then an apartment building. In 1972 the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and underwent up to date renovations. The interior was decorated to match photographs taken in the 1910s, and today Molly Brown's house is known as the Molly Brown House museum. It is available for tours Monday-Sunday from 9:30-5:30. 


Molly Brown House Details:

Built: 1889

Museum Hours: Monday-Sunday from 9:30-5:30

Where is the Molly Brown house?

Molly Brown Address: Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80203

Class Queen Anne: The Exterior

Molly Brown's house is a classic Queen Anne style home. It is surrounded by tall stone hedges, various statues, and tall steps leading to the front porch. The classic attic arch can be seen from the street, as well as a tall brick chimney. 

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: The Denver Post

The living room looks just like it would in the early 1900s. Deep wooden fireplace, rich red walls, and a grand piano. There is even a large, white, bear skin rug in the center of the room. The living room is open to a sitting room, with red drapes as a divider. 

Credit: Boston Globe

In the dining room, you have a long oval table adorned with tall candle sticks. A vintage chandelier light fixture hangs above the table, as the north wall is curved with two floor to ceiling windows.

Credit: Atlas Obscura

In the foyer you have the staircase. Beautifully carved, wooden stairs match the equally intricate ceiling above. I love the textured gold wallpaper leading up the stairs. There is just so much personality in this home.

Credit: Colorado Public Radio

Credit: Yelp

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: TripAdvisor

Credit: Tom McClure


What do you think of Molly Brown's house?

Conclusion: Historic & Beloved

Much like the unsinkable Molly Brown herself, this home turned museum is legendary, and a site to be seen. If you loved reading more about Molly Brown, take a look at Emily Dickinson’s famous home here

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