Proctor man builds Titanic replica to honor local survivor

Kim Schneider Forum News Service It's safe to say the Titanic is one of Braden Barker's favorite things. The 5-year-old from Superior asked his mom Kelli Barker to take a special trip to Proctor Tuesday afternoon to visit a model ship on display ...

Jason Seguin stands next to the replica of the HMS Titanic he built and installed in the front yard of his home. Seguin built the replica over 2.5 years. Steve Kuchera /

Kim Schneider

Forum News Service

It’s safe to say the Titanic is one of Braden Barker’s favorite things.

The 5-year-old from Superior asked his mom Kelli Barker to take a special trip to Proctor Tuesday afternoon to visit a model ship on display in a yard on North Ugstad Road. Braden circled the model replica Tuesday, pointing out where lifeboats were stowed and where the ship cracked, ultimately causing it to sink on April 14, 1912.

A front yard in Proctor seems to be an odd place to have a model of the infamous sinking ship, but a previous owner of the house - Anna Salkjelsvik - was a Titanic survivor.


The house’s current owner, Jason Seguin, 42, spent hundreds of hours creating the replica to honor the memory of Salkjelsvik.

The sinking model is about 400 pounds, three feet wide and nearly seven feet tall at its highest point, Seguin said. He started the project two and a half years ago, working on and off on it. Then three months ago, a newfound motivation kicked in and he spent nearly 50 hours per week to complete the model, made from repurposed sheet metal and wood.

Seguin said he cut the metal with an angle grinder. The lath wood used for the ship’s deck is one of the only things he bought for the project, he said.

Seguin placed the model in a small patch of recycled rubber bits, painted blue to resemble the Atlantic Ocean. The model also includes some of the Titanic’s finer details, such as cranes to lift and drop cargo and the shape and placement of propellers.

Seguin, a hockey coach in Proctor, said he has little experience crafting model boats but has constructed hot-rod strollers and metal puzzle pieces. He said he has never built anything of that size before.

He said the idea to build a model began with his oldest son’s obsession with the Titanic. His son, Jaxson, 13, has Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Seguin said it is common for people with Asperger’s to latch on to subjects and learn everything about them. Jaxson’s interest in the Titanic began several years before the couple bought their current residence.

Shortly after moving into the Proctor house, a neighbor told them about Salkjelsvik’s history.

“After we found that out, it was almost creepy,” Seguin said. “Then I was like, now I have to do it.”


The Seguin family traveled to the Titanic museum in Branson, Mo. when the museum compiled information on Salkjelsvik for the family.

Salkjelsvik was born in Skodje, Romsdal, Norway in 1890. She boarded the Titanic in Southampton, England on April 10, 1912 traveling as a third-class passenger, and narrowly escaped the icy death many others faced, before she reunited with her sister in Proctor.

She boarded Lifeboat C, the starboard-side collapsible lifeboat that is most known for rescuing J. Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line. Lifeboat C was the last to successfully lower from the ship, carrying 44 people. It was the first collapsible lifeboat to reach the RMS Carpathia at 5:45 a.m.

Salkjelsvik worked at a local hotel. She met William Larsen, a railroad man, and they married in 1912. The couple had three children. Salkjelsvik died at age 86 in 1977.

Seguin said Salkjelsvik’s survival story inspired him. Not many third-class passengers survived the sinking ship, he said, adding it’s even more interesting that she happened to end up in Proctor in his current residence. His son’s love for the Titanic, the history and the house’s history were also factors in his drive to finish the project, Seguin said.

“And getting it out of my garage,” Seguin joked, adding three of his friends helped him move the heavy model to the front yard.

Seguin free-handed the Titanic model, he said, working only from pictures and his son’s expertise.

“He’d come out in the garage and give me pointers,” Seguin said of his son, who offered advice on the boat’s color scheme, shape of the funnels and placement of certain objects.


Seguin said he is unsure if the model will remain in the front yard come winter time.

More than 2,200 people boarded the Titanic but only about 700 were rescued.

“She was one of the last people to get off that survived,” Seguin said.


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