May 24, 2012 by Evin
The structure that once served as the transport station for those leaving Ireland by ship is now the Cobh Heritage Centre. I visited it with my family last winter before the Titanic anniversary brought new artifacts and stories to the forefront. The building has been well-preserved (or restored) and has some shopping and dining options. Signs remain marking where waiting areas were (first and steerage class) as well as photographs and memorabilia. Though we had heard from a few friends that you could look at the log listing everyone who left Queenstown (as it was called back then) if you had a name and date, this seems to have changed. Now it is only possible to submit a form requesting a general search of Irish records for a fee. I am not sure it is anything more than I can do online and at the County Cork Archives, so this was a disappointment. Particularly since we had heard so much about the Cobh Heritage Centre and this place seems more like an exhibit. But entry into the building, shop, and cafe section of the building is free and worth a stop in if you have ancestors from County Cork.
Though I had different expectations about what to expect from the visit, I did enjoy the experience and the reminder that life was very different back then and a departure from Ireland was not like it would be today.
The train to Cobh is very conveniently located just a little west of this building so very easy to walk around.