Were There Any Central New Yorkers Aboard the Titanic?
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of James Cameron's Academy Award-winning film Titanic. Which got me wondering... of the 2,240 passengers aboard, were any of them Central New Yorkers?
Most people know the ship was headed to New York City, but a few of its passengers were scheduled to continue further Upstate. Among the survivors, two men were headed to Central New York, and a 27-year-old Londoner wound up living in the Syracuse area for the remainder of her life.
London-born Mary Davis was a second-class passenger aboard the Titanic, scheduled to visit her sister in Staten Island. She was one of the 706 people who were lucky enough to find space on a lifeboat, which the Titanic was famously under-equipped with.
Davis' grandchildren said she didn't speak of the Titanic much, but would cry when she did. She passed away in the Syracuse area on July 29th, 1987 at the age of 104. Many claim she was the oldest survivor of the disaster.
SIDNEY STUART CLARENCE COLLETT
(Geez, maybe it was the weight of having four names that brought the Titanic down.)
Collett, also a second-class passenger, was sailing to visit his parents in the small Cayuga County town of Port Byron. He managed to "Billy Zane" his way onto a lifeboat by saying he was taking care of two young ladies.
Collett apparently "moved around a lot" to avoid being drafted into World War I. He reportedly told people surviving the Titanic was the closest one should ever come to death in a lifetime.
Reginald Hale was born in England, but emigrated to Auburn, New York in the early 1900s. He worked as a groundskeeper and gardener at an Auburn retirement home. After visiting England he hoped to return to Auburn, but died in the tragedy.
His body didn't follow the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean, however-- it was actually recovered from the water about a week after the sinking. But even still, Hale was buried at sea.
The three above are just a few Titanic passengers with Central New York ties. You can read more about additional survivors from the area at this link.