SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Community News Network

April 11, 2012

Visitors drawn to town where Titanic's dead are buried

Movie, centennial, return Halifax to spotlight

(Continued)

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia —

The Five Fishermen Restaurant and Grill — housed in the building where a funeral home handled the bodies of wealthier victims such as millionaire John Jacob Astor — is offering an April menu inspired by the Titanic's first-class fare.

And the maritime museum is mounting an exhibit of pictures and stories of the 150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax graveyards — 19 in the Catholic Mount Olivet Cemetery, 10 in the Jewish Baron de Hirsch Cemetery, and 121 in non-denominational Fairview Lawn.

Among items on display in the museum's permanent collection is a Titanic deck chair given to the minister who performed services on one of the ships that recovered bodies. The most touching artifact is a pair of shoes, donated to the museum by a descendant of a Halifax police officer. They belonged to the nameless child who came to symbolize the many children who died aboard the Titanic.

In 2002, Canadian researchers identified him as a 13-month-old Finnish boy, Eino Viljami Panula. But in 2007, DNA testing determined that he was in fact a 19-month-old English boy, Sidney Leslie Goodwin, who died with his entire family, including five siblings, as they were sailing to a new life in America.

The child's headstone remains among the nameless ones at Fairview Lawn, each inscribed: "Died April 15, 1912." The bodies were numbered as they were picked up; the numbers appear on the headstones of the known and unknown victims.

That the J. Dawson buried here is not the character in the movie did not stop the flow of mourners, said cemetery tour guide Blair Beed, a Halifax historian and grandson of an undertaker's assistant at the funeral home.

"After the movie I saw fathers with their daughters standing here crying. For two or three years that lasted. Instead of spring break fathers would bring their daughters here to see J. Dawson," he said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

Local News
  • Keenan to resign to take Salem State job

    SALEM — State Rep. John Keenan said Tuesday he will resign from office Aug. 24 to take a new job as vice president of administration at Salem State University.
    His announcement ended months of speculation about where the five-term Democrat would end up after leaving the Legislature. As it turns out, he is leaving four months before his term would have expired.

    July 29, 2014

  • Axe in Windshield Close call on I-95 in Topsfield when loose ax chops through windshield

    TOPSFIELD — Some motorists on Interstate 95 southbound had a scary moment Wednesday around 11 a.m. when a loose ax flew off a landscaper dump truck in front of them and cleaved partly through their car's windshield.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chism attorney challenging legislation

    DANVERS -- The attorney for the Danvers teen charged with raping and murdering his math teacher last October is arguing that the 1996 state law requiring that he be tried as an adult is unconstitutional. The argument by Philip Chism's attorney comes

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_SN_DLE_PATROL4 Party problems persist in Point SALEM -- 'Tis the season for parties in the Point. Three years after a large Fourth of July gathering in the densely inhabited neighborhood led to a violent confrontation between partygoers and police, Chief Paul Tucker says his department continues

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • lottery.jpg 'Lucky' Salem store sells $15M lottery ticket

    SALEM -- An anonymous person used a trust to claim a $15 million grand prize Tuesday from a $30 scratch ticket bought at a local corner store. It is the largest instant "scratch and win" prize ever in the state's history. Nicole's Food Store at 406

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo