The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

April 15, 2013


Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — A gathering of local residents and visitors from across the country and the world transported themselves to the early part of the 20th Century Saturday night at The Pillars in Albion.

The estate, owned and operated by Tim McMurtrie, played host to the Second Annual Titanic Ball. Many in attendance dressed the part for the evening’s festivities, wearing attire that hearkened back to the Titanic’s time period.

McMurtrie’s passion for anything and everything Titanic stems from a familial connection to the ill-fated ship.

“My grandmother’s eldest brother worked on the ship,” he said, adding that the ballroom of The Pillars was designed with the Titanic ballroom in mind.

Last year and this year an orchestra performed music specific to the time period. Also this year, McMurtrie said the menu available to guests was the same available to passengers 101 years ago.

At one table sat a handful of McMurtrie’s friends, including one who lives in England and a couple from outside Dallas, Texas by way of England and Holland. “We all worked on cruise ships together,” said Dutch native Hans Verbruggen of his European company. Hans, his wife Liz, and their friend Doly Baker, all made the trip to Western New York a year ago and decided they needed to return again because the inaugural event proved to be a blast.

Plus, Hans said, it takes place in a part of New York he appreciates.

“I’m more of a nature guy,” he said. “The big city is not for me.” He added that he planned on making a trip a little further west to visit Niagara Falls on this visit because he has never seen it. 

Another couple at the table made the trip from north of Toronto, and two others were more local. One, Irene Will of Alabama, said she remembered The Pillars before McMurtrie revitalized it, and before he added the ballroom.

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