Halifax has historic links to Titanic disaster


By Janine Murphy
Christ the King School
Rushoon, Newfoundland

Ever since April 29, 1912, Halifax has had a major connection with the Titanic and the disaster surrounding her maiden voyage.

It is only recently that people are finding out about Halifax's major role in this disaster. Halifax was the closest major seaport to the scene and so, many ships were sent out to find bodies. All the bodies and wreckage found were brought back to Halifax.

Many of the bodies were not claimed by relatives therefore, 150 of those bodies were buried in Halifax. This made Halifax, in many ways, the final port of the unsinkable Titanic. Now, since the release of the block buster hit "Titanic", many people have flocked to these burial sites, making Halifax a main tourist attraction this summer.

Some people make the voyage to the cemeteries, to be shocked to find a headstone marked "J. Dawson". This is the headstone of James Dawson, who worked in the engine room on the ship, but many people believe it's the headstone of Jack Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the movie.

A related video story created by students at Auburn Drive High School in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia




The connection between Halifax and the Titanic is not only a local one. It also has a Hollywood connection. Rumors had been circulating that the piece of wood which Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were lying on at the end of the movie was actually a replica of a piece of wreckage which is found in Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax. There is some truth to this rumor. The piece of wood, which is actually a piece of the archway over the entrance to the first class dining room, did inspire one of the set designers when a picture of it was sent to him.

Many people don't realize that a lot of scenes from the movie were actually filmed in Halifax. All of the modern day scenes were filmed there, except for the opening scene with Rose in her apartment, which was filmed in California.

The story of the "Unsinkable Titanic" remains a vital part of Halifax's heritage and will always be remembered by young and old.


 Back to News