Tag Archives: Lynnewood Hall

Titanic News- Snopes Looks Into Titanic Photograph,Jinxed Train Station Gets New Life and more!

Europe’s Unluckiest Train Station Gets New Lease Of Life As Hotel
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2021

It earned the nickname “Titanic of the mountains”, but now the monumental and ill-fated train station at Canfranc is to get a new life as a five-star hotel, 51 years after the international rail link across the Pyrenees closed. The story of Canfranc, a village more than 1,000 metres (3,280ft) above sea level on the Franco-Spanish frontier, is one of vainglorious ambition and abject failure, of incompetence and corruption, of intrigue, smuggling and a century-long run of bad luck. Spain wanted to show that it was capable of building something on the scale of Europe’s great “railway cathedrals”, says Alfonso Marco, author of El Canfranc, historia de un tren de leyenda (Canfranc, the story of a legendary train). “By the time it was built it already belonged, conceptually and technically, in the 19th century,” he told the Guardian. The problem was that the station was conceived in 1853 but not completed until 1928.


Is This the Final Photograph of the Titanic?
Snopes.com, 16 Jul 2021

Snopes looks into whether or not a photograph (Morrogh Image) is the final photograph of Titanic. After consulting with Ken Marschall and another expert, it likely was not the last one. It appears to have been taken a few minutes before the Odell Image (taken by Kate Odell on the tender heading ashore). Which makes the Odell image still the last and final photograph of Titanic as she heads out to sea, and into history.


‘The Apparition Screamed Out ‘Waratah! Waratah!’: Dundee Ship Richard King And ‘Australia’s Titanic’
The Courier, 16 Jul 2021

The Waratah was sailing to Cape Town but she disappeared from sight into the mist with her 211 passengers and crew in July 1909. The story of the Waratah has often been compared to that of the Titanic, which sank three years later. As such, the Waratah has been referred to variously as the “Titanic of the Southern Ocean” and “Australia’s Titanic”. The Richard King was one of the ships that took part in an exhaustive but unsuccessful search for the Waratah. Numerous attempts to salvage it and a few sightings have been reported, with none proving to be true. No one has ever found a trace of the ship and this great maritime mystery is up there with the Mary Celeste and the Flying Dutchman.


What Titanic Left Behind: This Forgotten Mansion Was Owned By A Family Taken By Maritime Tragedy
Thetravel.com, 15 Jul 2021

The nearly-forgotten home of Lynnewood Hall was once considered to be one of the finest mansions in the country from the Gilded Age. It also held the title as being the finest home in the state of Pennsylvania but with so many Neo-Classical Revival features, that was not a tough challenge to overcome. What more interesting – and tragic – is the family who once owned this mansion, and how their lives were intertwined with that of the biggest maritime disaster in history: The Titanic.


Slideshow of Former Widener Home Lynnewood Hall

Lynnewood Hall, 2013
Photo: Shuvaev/Wikimedia Commons

Few estates showcase the wealth of the Gilded Age than Lynnewood Hall in Elkins Park in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Built by A.B. Widener between 1897-1900, it was a masterpiece of design. The 110-room mansion sat on 300 acres that were meticulously cared for and adorned with statues. The mansion was 70,000 square feet and designed by the noted American architect Horace Trumbauer. Aside from being a place to live, it was also to be the home of one of the largest private art collections in the country. It is estimated to have cost $8 million to build. Sadly, both his son George Dunton Widener and grandson Harry, died when Titanic sank in 1912. George had two other children who were not aboard at the time. His wife Eleanor and maid did survive but it was a devastating blow to AB. He would die in 1915.

Between 1915-1940, it was a private art gallery open to the public by appointment. In 1940, over 2,000 pieces of art were donated to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  When Joseph Widener passed away in 1943, none of his children wanted the responsibility (meaning cost because it took a lot of money to keep the house and grounds maintained). It was abandoned and left to slowly disintegrate until 1948 when a developer bought it for a very low price. After that it was purchased by the Faith Theological Seminary. They sold off most of the land and now sits on 33 acres. Most of the art that was left was sold off prior to the sale. The seminary sold off many the famed interior detailing to raise funds. You must go to the National Gallery in Washington to see the Widener art collection, which is still preserved.

The house has been left to rot having been stripped of its precious art and detailing. Some rooms and areas are still in good condition as the slideshow indicates. It has been added to the list of endangered historic properties in the region. The secret tunnels referred to in the title were possibly used by staff to navigate the large house without being seen by Widener’s guests. The home was up for sale in 2014 for $20 million but that was brought down to $17.5 million in 2017. It appears off the market but not really known if it was sold or not. Perhaps it ought to be renovated and made open to the public (for a fee, of course) like many mansions and estates in Britain and France. You can view the slideshow here.