During my May 10, 2014, visit to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, I got to talk to Crew Member, Hunter. She shared a lot of interesting things with my daughter and I. One of these is the rare Titanic Family, known as the Caldwell’s. Hunter shared they were third class passengers and also missionaries.
The Caldwell’s, Missionaries, Aboard the Titanic.
She also shared an interesting story. Mr. Caldwell went to coal room which was of limits. He asked men if they would get a picture of him shoveling coal. The coal people were first to know of the sinking Titanic. The movie shows the gates got locked when the Titanic was sinking. It was the other way around in reality. During that time different social classes didn’t mix so gates were locked during the voyage. It was unlocked by crew to give the third class passengers a chance to live. Back to the coal crew. They went to seek out Mr. Caldwell and told him first of sinking of the Titanic. Said if you value you and your wife’s life to get off the ship now!
Well they made it to a lifeboat, but only women and children could board. Mind you a child on Titanic was 15 and younger. Well Mrs. Caldwell had a mental disorder that caused her shake a lot. So they made her husband board the lifeboat to hold his child. Every photo you see of the family has Mr. Caldwell holding their child.
Hunter also suggested a book, A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwell’s Story of Survival, by Julie Hedgepeth Williams, to read and that is in the gift shop. It was expensive there for me. Being a single parent with custody and limited income I found as used book online for around $10 including shipping. I am not saying to not buy from the museum, if I wasn’t on a fixed income, I would have purchased it there. I am just giving you another option.
If you would like to learn more about the Caldwell family, then make sure you find that book and/or go visit the Titanic Museum and talk to the crew members there who will be more than glad to share with you what they know.
Albert and Sylvia
Learn more …
Hunter at Titanic Museum of Pigeon Forge.
A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwell’s Story of Survival, by Julie Hedgepeth Williams
Titanic Museum Review | John Harper – Last Titanic Hero
The Caldwell Family – Missionaries Aboard the Titanic | The Titanic Bible
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First published October 24, 2014. Republished April 15, 2021.