What’s in a name?

Margaret Tobin Brown was never known as Molly in her lifetime. This came later with musicals, plays and even the famous 1997 film, Titanic. She would become known as “the unsinkable Molly Brown” throughout history and even to this day, most people only know her for that one intense night where over 1,500 people died. The nicknames Margaret did have? Maggie, in her youth and Mrs. J.J. Brown in her later years.

Yet Margaret was so much more than a survivor of the most famous shipping disaster of the 20th century, she was an activist, suffragette, highly intelligent, and motivated person that enacted lasting change. Her legacy still lives on in Denver through her work with the Dumb Friend’s League, Denver Women’s Club and juvenile court system.

Perhaps the benefit of Margaret being known as Molly, as a musical, as a wild western woman, is that she is in fact remembered. Which is partially why her house in Denver was preserved and not torn down. This house acts as a home for not only the memory of Molly, but of the time, the women, and the culture that was early Denver.

A docent at the Molly Brown House on Pennsylvania Avenue describes her legacy best.


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