In the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from Southampton , England en route to New York City, sank after having struck an iceberg less than three hours earlier.
Over 1500 people perished in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 1,316 passengers onboard, twenty-seven of them had listed as their destination Minnesota. Eleven survived, sixteen were lost at sea. Two of those sixteen were the Rev. William Lahtinen and his wife, Anna.
Rev. Lahtinen was just completing his pastoral duties at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church in Cokato. He and his wife and their daughter, Martha, were visiting family in Finland. On their trip Martha unexpectedly passed away. The funeral arrangements delayed the Lahtinen’s return to America. They booked two second-class tickets on the Titanic for their voyage back. They, along with 1,515 of their fellow passengers and ship crew members never made it.
Independent researcher, Greg Isola, has spent years studying the disaster and its connection to Cokato. On Saturday, April 14, Isola will present his work to the public for the first time. The presentation will be from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Dassel History Center.
As a companion to Isola’s work, the Cokato Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its newest temporary display, April 1912: Life Aboard the Titanic. This display features items from the museum’s collections that would have been used by people from that time period. The display also includes a section dedicated to the Lahtinen’s.
April 1912 runs from April 3 through Memorial Day 2012.
Both the program and display are co-sponsored by the Cokato Finnish American Historical Society. For more information, visit the museum’s web site: www.cokato.mn.us and click on the “Cokato Museum” link or their Facebook page.