Summer Exhibit to Feature Local Connections to the Titanic Disaster

The St. Charles History Museum’s summer exhibit, Tip of the Iceberg: St. Charles’ Ties to the Titanic will explore local connections to the most infamous disaster in maritime history, the 1912 sinking of the White Star Ocean Liner RMS Titanic.

Alice Berg Johnson

Alice Berg Johnson

Alice Berg Johnson and her two children, Harold and Elanor, were returning home to their hometown of St. Charles after visiting Alice’s ill father in Finland. Alice purchased three Third Class tickets to set sail on the Titanic for what would be its first and final journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The Johnsons were among the approximately 710 people who made it off the ship alive after the vessel struck an iceberg and sank with over 1,500 passengers still on board.

Through months of research, the St. Charles History Museum Staff has been able to piece together the story of the Johnson family to find out exactly what happened to the family on that fateful night in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, and how they and the other survivors were able to make it home.

 “The Johnsons’ story is just one of the many reasons why we are still so fascinated with the Titanic to this day,” said Alison Costanzo, Executive Director of the St. Charles History Museum. “Although the Titanic will always be remembered as a terrible tragedy, it is also an amazing story of survival and resilience that also led to improved safety regulations that have prevented a similar tragedy from happening since.”

 In addition to the Johnsons, the exhibit will also feature the stories of Molly Brown, first class passenger remembered for her bravery and actions during the sinking, as well as the Second Class Caldwell family, who were also on their way home to Illinois when the ship went down.

 The exhibit will open with a special reception open to the public on Friday, June 7 from 5 – 7 p.m. Register for the opening reception here. For more information, call the Museum at (630) 584-6967 or email

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