Did You Know Montana Has Big Connections To The Titanic?
Today is April 14th, and on this date back in 1912, the RMS Titanic would start to sink to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles from the coast of Newfoundland. The ship was thought to be and was advertised as "unsinkable", however, it turned out to be no match for the large iceberg it would hit. It was a massive ship for its period and some of the most influential folks in the world at the time were passengers.
The Titanic made headlines all across the world when it hit an iceberg and would end up being a major part of history that folks are still talking about 110 years later.
Of course, we're all familiar with the ship and the Hollywood Blockbuster movie, but did you know that Montana has a connection to many on the ship? It's true. Not only were there several people that were passengers on the ship that were heading to Montana.
First, let's talk about those passengers that were heading to the United States with a final destination of Montana. According to the blog, Montana History Revealed, a few of the lower-class passengers were headed to Butte to work in the mines. Author and Historian Zoe Ann Stoltz writes:
"Not only were there 17 or more (depending on the source) passengers of the RMS Titanic who planned to make Montana their final destination, there were also numerous personal and professional Montana connections. The aspirations and make-up of these individuals—miners, emigrants, carpenters, homesteaders, and millionaires—represent the story of 1912 Montana."
Of course, they weren't all mine workers. In fact, a rather prominent couple with Montana ties was aboard the ship. Stoltz goes on to tell the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Clark. Mr. Clark was the nephew of the copper king and Montana Senator William Clark. Walter would assist in getting his wife on a lifeboat and then would continue to help other women and children until he would perish.
When it was all said and done, 1504 souls would be lost in the cold Atlantic waters.
Of course, you can't talk about the Titanic and not think of the movie. The blockbuster that came out in 1997 would go on to win 11 Acadamy Awards. One of the things that made the movie so incredible was the underwater footage of the wrecked ship sitting at the bottom of the ocean. One of the people behind those amazing shots was Al Giddings.
Giddings owned property here in Montana for a number of years before selling it around 5 years ago. His ranch, which is located in Emigrant sold back in 2017. However, the main house played an important part in the movie according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times goes on to say that:
"An additional 6,000-square-foot lodge on the property contains six bedrooms and also plays a significant part in film history. The cabin served as the place where the idea for “Titanic” was originally conceived, and cameras used to shoot the 1997 film’s underwater scenes were built in a shop on the ranch."
Who knew that Montana played such a big part in one of the most successful movies of all time?
Needless to say, we will be talking about the Titanic for many decades to come as it is certainly one of those events that will stand the test of time. The last remaining survivors are long gone now, but we remember their spirit and enthusiasm as they set sail to what they all hoped would be the start of an amazing adventure.
Credit: Montana History Revealed, Los Angles Times