He survived the icy waters of the North Atlantic as the Titanic sank, wrestled his way out of a body bag after being mistaken for dead, and delivered bombshell testimony before the U.S. Senate.
Now, his 120-year-old former Burlington County home is back on the market.
Listed on Wednesday for $204,900, the four-bedroom Victorian at 521 Leconey Ave. in Palmyra was once home to barber Augustus Henry Weikman, the lone American crew member of the Titanic, who survived the sinking in 1912.
Originally from Philadelphia, Weikman moved with his family to Palmyra in the 1890s. One of just 706 people who survived the Titanic disaster, the barber returned to Burlington County in April 1912 as a hero, and townsfolk lined up to shake his hand and wish him well as he was wheeled to his house, according to an account from Will Valentino of the Palmyra Historical and Cultural Society published in The Inquirer in 2008.
Real estate listings for the house make no mention of the Titanic survivor, but describe the property as a “magnificent Victorian home with 9-foot ceilings, crown and ceiling moldings,” boasting wood flooring and a “cozy L-shaped front porch." The home is being sold in as-is condition, according to the listing.
It wasn’t clear whether the seller knew about its famous previous resident or had any connection to Weikman. More information couldn’t immediately be obtained from the listing agent.
The night the “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg, Weikman helped officers load lifeboats until he was washed overboard into the Atlantic.
After downing a shot of brandy when he boarded the Carpathia — the ship that rescued survivors of the Titanic — Weikman passed out and, with a weakened pulse, was mistaken for dead, his grandson told Valentino.
When Weikman awoke, he was sewn into a body bag in steerage, and women in the neighboring cabin recounted the barber’s screams as he kicked his way out of the bag, according to Valentino’s account.
Testifying via affidavit in the Senate Titanic hearings, Weikman’s memory of the fateful night drew widespread attention for his defense of the ship’s owner, J. Bruce Ismay, who was cast as a coward for abandoning the ship while others perished.
Although records show he relocated multiple times, Weikman remained in Palmyra until his death on Nov. 7, 1924.