Nova Scotia is a province that understands shipwrecks (estimates range up to 25 000 off the coast of Nova Scotia). In Halifax the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has a fascinating display on shipwrecks and the stories behind them including, the most famous of all, the Titanic sinking in 1912. Halifax has a special connection to the Titanic, it’s where the survivors (and bodies of those not so lucky) were first brought, and where the ships that went to help came from, being Halifax was the nearest port city.
The exhibit is a fascinating one, it includes a complete deck chair from the Titanic, as well as a replica of the chair which you can have a seat and try out for yourself (it’s very comfortable). There are photographs, stories of those on the passenger list, some of their belongings which were salvaged/recovered, as well as artifacts from the ship, which all help bring the tragedy to life. Also on display are those things made from wood salvaged from the Titanic which were then remade into new things, such as rolling pins, picture frames, and other such house hold items. This was quite a common thing to do back then.
It is a very good exhibit, popular with those visiting Halifax on cruise ships (strangely!). Next year, 2012, is the 100 year anniversary of the tragedy, and the museum is expanding the exhibition to commemorate the anniversary of the disaster.
You can also visit the 3 cemeteries in Halifax (Fairview Cemetery where 121 are buried and the other 29 at Mount Olivet Cemetery and Baron de Hirsch Cemetery) where some those that didn’t survive, but who’s bodies where recovered are buried. This includes a J. Dawson, but it isn’t the Jack Dawson in the movie Titanic, it’s a Joseph Dawson. However this doesn’t stop it from being the most visited grave in the cemetery since the movie Titanic came out in 1997.
The museum, located on the waterfront, is a place you could easily spend a hours exploring all things maritime. The Titanic exhibition is always one of the highlights for me. There is also have an exhibition on the lesser known (though equally fascinating) shipwreck of the White Star Line. It was the second boat they built, also billed as the best and most luxurious of the time that sank just off the shore of Nova Scotia as well (as you can see history does repeat itself) and was the biggest shipwreck of the coast of Nova Scotia until the Titanic.