By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN Coinciding with Greg Isola’s upcoming Titanic presentation at the Dassel History Center is an exhibit at the Cokato Museum depicting life in 1912.
This short-term display open from Tuesday, April 3, through Memorial Day isn’t the museum’s effort to recreate the accounts of the Titanic, said director Mike Worcester. The exhibit rather is to “give people a sense of what life was like aboard the ship,” he said.
“A display like this allows us the opportunity to use items in our collection that either haven’t been out for a long time or never have been on display,” Worcester said.
Some of the items on exhibit include dresses, hats, and hair pins that women aboard the shop may have worn at the time.
One display pays tribute to the Titanic’s orchestra with violins and a photo of each of the men in the string band, which accounts have said played up until the ship’s sinking.
There is also an entire display devoted to Rev. William Lahtinen and his wife Anna, Cokato residents who perished in what has been referred to as the worst peacetime maritime disaster.
The couple was not supposed to even be on the Titanic, Worcester said, explaining the daughter died while in Finland, delaying the Lahtinens’ return to the states, inevitably placing them on the next available ship, the Titanic.
With this display, are Bibles on loan from the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church where William was pastor from 1905 to 1911, as well as pictures of the early church.
The museum also included in its display the complete list of the 27 passengers who listed their destination as Minnesota. Eleven of them survived, while the other 16 were lost at sea.
Photos depicting the Titanic, and local newspaper clippings about the sinking are also part of the exhibit.
One aspect the news articles show is there was a lot of mis-information, Worcester said. “The accuracy was quiet suspect in some of them,” he said, adding that they did the best they could, however, under the circumstances.
“You just can’t assume you are going to get accurate recounting of a disaster the survivor accounts are so varied,” he said.
“April 1912: Life Aboard the Titanic” will be open from Tuesday, April 3 through Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day).
Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.