Historic Homes of Denver- The Molly Brown Home

The Molly Brown Home, Credit: flicker

The Molly Brown Home, Credit: flicker

Mansion and Museum of Famous Titanic Survivor Margaret Brown

A visit to downtown Denver is not complete without a tour of the Mollly Brown Home, a unique Victorian mansion once owned by “The Unsinkable Molly Brown“.

Margaret “Molly” Brown is best known as being one of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic, which gave her the title, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” She came to be known as a famous Denver philanthropist and socialite. A charter member of the Denver Women’s Club, she was a strong advocate of women’s rights as well as a patron of the arts.

Molly Brown’s History

Margaret Brown’s story is one of from rags to riches. She was born July 18, 1867 in Hannibal, Missouri. She was raised in a poverty-stricken area of Hannibal called Irish Shantytown. In Leadville, Colorado she met and married James Joseph “J.J.” Brown. For the first seven years of their marriage, they led a working-class lifestyle. Then, like many who lived in that time era, the Browns suddenly struck it rich when J.J.’s employer awarded him shares in the “Little Jonny Mine.”

Now millionaires, the family moved to Denver in 1894 and purchased the mansion known as the “House of Lions” from the Large family, who had also acquired, and subsequently lost,their wealth during the mining boom. James turned over ownership of the mansion to his wife Molly in 1898. She owned it until her death in 1932.

The Molly Brown Home in Denver- The House of Lions

The three-story Victorian-style home, which sits on Pennsylvania Street in the heart of Denver, is easily identified by the stone lions that grace the front. It is located in the Victorian district of the section near the capitol known as Capitol Hill. The house was designed by architect William Lang. The exterior is constructed of Colorado lava stone with deep pink sandstone trim.

The mansion’s interior consists of fourteen beautifully-decorated rooms. For its day the house had all the modern conveniences of electricity, central heat and indoor plumbing.The rooms have been restored to reflect the era from 1894 to 1912.

History and Renovation of the Molly Brown Mansion

Molly had other residences, and did not live there full-time. The house was rented out and became a boarding house during the Depression. Sold at her death in 1932, the home continued to be run as a boarding house and began to fall into disrepair. In 1958, a new owner decided to renovate the home to keep it from being torn down. Because of urban renewal, many historic homes in Denver were demolished to make way for modern offices. In the late 1960s the group Historic Denver was formed to help preserve the Molly Brown home and other important landmarks.

Molly Brown History and Titanic Special Exhibits

The museum houses photographs, artifacts and information about Molly’s role in politics, as a social reformer, and of course her adventure upon the Titanic, where she acted in a very heroic manner to help other passengers get to the life boats. There is also a nice gift shop where souvenirs can be purchased.

When to Visit the Molly Brown House Museum

The Molly Brown House Museum can be visited at 1340 Pennsylvania Street in Denver, Colorado. Daily tours are provided at a reasonable price from Tuesday through Saturday from10:00 am to 3:30. On Sunday it is open from 12 pm with the last tour at 3:30.

Every year at Christmastime the mansion is decorated so visitors can experience a turn of the century Christmas complete with Victorian ornaments and brilliantly decorated trees.

Click here to visit the Molly Brown House Museum Website

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