Titanic disaster at 110: The world’s only Titanic museum was once housed in an isolated Sidney, Ohio building

One of the world’s few collections of Titanic memorabilia was once housed in Sidney, Ohio.

In March 1987, artist and teacher John Whitman opened the Titanic Memorial Museum in Sidney at 10741 Russell Rd. in a space it shared with his Artist Cove Institute.

» PHOTOS: RMS Titanic sinks on April 15, 1912

The museum was the world’s only facility dedicated solely to the ship that famously sank on April 15, 1912. The Associated Press began a story about the museum’s opening with, “In the middle of a cornfield in western Ohio ...”

Among the 3,200 items in nine rooms related to the Titanic in the museum included a tea set used by the ship saved by one of the passengers, an original ticket, the blueprints of the ship’s insides. Stopped clocks hanging on the walls signified different key moments in the sinking process.

Whitman’s efforts included visiting survivors, visiting Europe regularly to give talks about the disaster, attending the opening of a safe that was found on the ocean floor at the invitation of the French government.

“I eat, drink and sleep this story,” Whitman once said of his museum that housed materials that took him 34 years to collect.

The museum stayed open for more than seven years, until Whitman sold its contents to a company that operated a traveling exhibition of Titanic memorabilia in April 1994.

When it happened, the coverage of the Titanic disaster dominated the front pages for days after it happened. Here’s a look at Dayton Daily News front pages from that week.

April 15, 1912

April 16, 1912

April 17, 1912

April 18, 1912

April 19, 1912

April 20, 1912

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