Exploring Denver's history at Molly Brown House

Exploring Denver's history at Molly Brown House

  • Allison Benham
  • 03/15/24

"I am a daughter of adventure." -Margaret Brown

Heading through Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood you may have noticed signs for the Molly Brown House Museum - or even seen the house itself. But who was the Unsinkable Molly Brown? The Museum’s website notes that Margaret “was the embodiment of the New Woman of the twenties: free, liberated and self-sufficient.” Let’s take a look at Margaret’s life, legacy, and the museum!

Who Was Molly Brown?

While the 1964 film The Unsinkable Molly Brown winds a fictional tale about Brown as a hero of the Titanic, Margaret Tobin Brown was a true agent of change through the early 20th century. Born in Missouri in 1867, Margaret moved to Leadville, CO where she met and married James Joseph “JJ” Brown, a mining engineer. A goldmine discovery made them rich and the two moved to Denver.

Image Molly Brown Campaign Photo- Library of Congress

Drawn by progressive reformers in the city, Margaret began her lifelong career as a social advocate. Throughout her life, Margaret pushed for Colorado’s first juvenile court system, helped found the Denver Dumb Friends League, and was a patron of the arts. She supported miner’s rights and women’s suffrage, ran for state and US senate, and volunteered in France during WWI. During the cultural renaissance of the 1920’s, Margaret focused on a personal passion and became a stage actress in New York City.

Brown also really did survive the sinking of the Titanic. Once aboard the rescue ship, Brown began helping other passengers, many of whom had lost everything. She rallied the wealthier passengers and raised $10,000 to help those in need - all before the boat docked in New York. 

About the House

The Molly Brown House was built in 1889 by Isaac and Mary Large. The Larges commissioned William Lang, a prominent architect, to design the Classic Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque style home. Outfitted with all of the modern amenities of the time (electricity, indoor plumbing, heat, and telephone), the Browns purchased the house in 1894 and made substantial renovations as the new owners. Eventually signed into Margaret’s name, the home was sold after her death in 1932.

Subsequently, the house served as a men’s boardinghouse and later as a home for girls. The structure was eventually scheduled for demolition in 1970. That year, eighteen Denver citizens came together to form Historic Denver, Inc. and fought to save the building. Renovations have brought the home back to it’s 1910’s Victorian style and it is now open to the public as a museum.

Visiting the Museum

Experience the Molly Brown House through a self guided or private tour. In addition to learning about the Brown family, visitors will learn about the house’s architecture and history. Permanent and featured exhibits cover topics like the historic mining industry and Victorian life.

Tickets for Colorado residents are:

$20 Adults (ages 19-64)
$16 Juniors (ages 6-18)
$18 Seniors (65 and up)
$18 Military and College Students (with ID)

Until next time!

Allison and Ken


Work With Us

Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact Us today.

Follow Us on Instagram