"I am a daughter of adventure." — Molly Brown
Happy birthday, Molly Brown! Margaret (who didn't go by the name Molly during her life) was born in Missouri on July 18, 1867. At 13, she found work in a factory until two of her siblings moved to Colorado to mine when she was 18. She moved to Leadville, CO, in 1886 and met and married J.J. Brown in September of 1886. They had two children and financially, they struggled during the early years of their marriage until gold was found at Little Johnny Mine in 1893 and they became millionaires. The next year, the family moved to Denver to their home on Pennsylvania Avenue (now Street). You can visit the Molly Brown House & Museum (up to four visitors for free) using the Exploration Pass, opens a new window.
In 1901 Margaret attempted to win a seat in the state senate although she withdrew from the race. In 1909, after 23 years of marriage, the Browns signed a separation agreement. They never divorced (their separation lasted until J.J.'s death in 1922). In 1912, Margaret, with more independence to pursue her own life, traveled to Egypt, Rome and Paris with her daughter and friends J.J. and Madeleine Astor in 1912. When she received word that her grandson was ill, Margaret booked passage on the Titanic, opens a new window. After the Titanic , opens a new windowhit an iceberg, Margaret found herself in lifeboat #6. Upon being rescued by the Carpathia, Margaret realized many women had lost everything from their families to their belongings, and raised $10,000 for aid even before the Carpathia reached New York City. And the nickname "Unsinkable"? That came from Polly Pry, a Denver gossip columnist.
After the sinking of the Titanic, Margaret was famous. She campaigned for miners' rights, labor groups and women's issues. During WWI, Margaret traveled to France and eventually earned the French Legion of Honor for her activities. After the end of WWI, Margaret pursued her dreams of a career on stage. Margaret died in 1932 in her sleep.
- Read about Colorado's historic scandals and heartthrobs, opens a new window
- Learn about Colorado history, opens a new window
- Study up on historic Colorado, opens a new window from the perspectives of architecture to food
- Be a tourist and take a walking tour of Denver, opens a new window or register for a community walking program, opens a new window at Koelbel Library