I’m going to add to the 100th-Anniversary-of-the Sinking-of-the-Titanic hype today by posting my review of the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver. I’d give it a B. Maybe a B-. The only other dead rich lady’s residence I’ve been to was the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. That one is a lot cooler because Sarah Winchester believed that the ghosts of all Winchester rifle victims would haunt her if she ever stopped building her home. Molly Brown had no such crazy notions, making for a less interesting residence.

But it was interesting to learn about Molly (or Margaret, as they call her here. Apparently she was dubbed Molly only after her death) and her life in Colorado. She followed her brother to Leadville where she met her husband who later struck gold. The family and all their riches moved to Denver. Her home is right downtown, with a second story porch overlooking the capitol – still a prime real estate location. Most of the pieces in the home where purchased by Historic Denver when they bought and refurbished the home. The original furnishing where auctioned off in 1932 when Molly died in New York. There is a bit of Titanic memorabilia in the home, mostly pictures of the ship and her unfulfilled insurance claim to White Star Lines. Her extravagant trucks apparently held a $700 sealskin coat, 300 dollars of lingerie and a $20,000 necklace.

The twenty minute documentary of the unsinkable lady that I watched in the gift shop prior to my tour painted a much more “humanitarian” picture of Molly Brown. When she wasn’t traveling to Europe, Asia and Africa, she was using her influence to better Denver’s public spaces, build a juvenile justice system (which would become the model for the rest of the country), and champion the rights of minorities and women. She ran for Senate a few times before women had the right to vote. She was actively involved with other Titanic survivors, putting her language skills to use helping immigrants navigate life United States following (often) the loss of their husbands. In the days after the Titanic sunk Molly was already cajoling rich ladies to donate money to those less fortunate by publishing lists of who had given how much money to her survivors fund.

If you are in Denver for a few days, a trip to the Molly Brown House Museum is worth the $8. A $10 Titanic tour is also available through August of 2012. The museum is located on 13th and Pennsylvania. They are open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am until 4:30, with the last tour leaving at 3:30. Sunday hours are noon – 4:30. You must sign up for a tour to see the interior of the home. Tours are about 45 minutes. I showed up on a Saturday at 1:30 and got into the 3:00 tour, so be ready to kill some time. There are a couple casual restaurants right next to the museum if you are hungry.

Oh, and there was NO Celine Dion music piped into the gift shop or house – just so ya know. Although you can buy a fake version of that blue diamond necklace Kate Winslet wore in the film.