Finding MarionMarion Wright was coming from England to America for a new life with her soon-to-be husband, Arthur Woolcott. Arthur had recently purchased a fruit farm in Cottage Grove, Oregon and was anxious to bring his new bride home to enjoy it with him.
The night of the Titanic's sinking Marion managed to get into a lifeboat wearing a warm wool coat. In her wedding picture she's wearing that "lucky" coat, as she called it. In one of my favorite Titanic books there is a story about her and the lucky coat, and that it was being displayed, along with a few of her things, in a little museum in Cottage Grove. Well I HAD to visit the museum to see if I could add some pictures to my Marion Wright research. I called information for the museum's phone number and was given the number of a Mrs. Woolcott!! Boy did my heart skip a beat!! Could this be a relative of Marion Woolcott?-it had to be!
Mrs. Isabelle Woolcott answered and coolly gave me the directions to the museum and said yes she had the coat displayed there. She seemed rather businesslike at first, but warmed up to me after I introduced myself and told her that I was interested in Marion's Titanic story. I think she seemed impressed that I knew so much about Marion. She then told me Marion was her mother-in-law! How exciting!! I would actually get to meet Marion's relative!
Mrs. Woolcott told me she would be waiting for me when I got to the museum-as it was only open on Sunday afternoons or by special request. And-sure enough-there she was! Sitting in a rocking chair in the museum waiting for ME! She was very nice-showed us Marion's lucky coat and several of her other things, including the lap blanket she carried with her into the lifeboat that cold night on the sea. She then offered to take us on a Marion "tour"!! Now mind you this lady was 90 years old but she had us follow her in the car all over and you had to really watch closely to keep up with her! Quite the self-sufficient, spry "young" lady!
She took us to Marion's fruit farm home in the green orchards of Cottage Grove. We got to see the little church where Marion & her family attended-and I'm sure she sang a lot of songs there too. Marion was known for her lovely singing voice-and even sang a couple of solos at the hymn sing-the night of the sinking. Mrs. Woolcott even took us to the graveyard where Marion and Arthur are buried.
She told me that when Marion arrived in Cottage Grove people were interested in hearing her Titanic story-so she told them she would tell her story--just once--publicly--and then after that she didn't want to talk about it again. Mrs. Isabelle Woolcott was a fun, gracious lady who was a joy to meet! I truly think she enjoyed showing us around, answering our questions, and reveled in the spotlight! What a thrill for me to get to meet a real live link to the Titanic!!