A couple of weeks ago the kids and I went on a cool field trip to to the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
In the 1860's, the Arabia sunk in the Missouri River while transporting goods and passengers. There were no casualties (other than a poor donkey who was still tethered when they excavated), but the goods sunk into the mud and soot of the Missouri where it stayed preserved for over 100 years.
|This is what took down the Arabia Steamboat, still lodged|
in it when they found it.
The path of the Missouri River changed in that decade and in the 1980's a group of excavators located the Arabia buried in a corn field in Kansas, now on the opposite side of the river where it sank. What they recovered is nothing short of astonishing.
|Those are dishes I wish I had in my kitchen!|
|All of these wooden clothespins survived a decade of submersion!|
Although the steamboat itself was in bad shape, and only one portion was able to be recovered and restored, the goods were still in remarkable shape. Those goods recovered were originally being transported to pioneer stores for sale ... clothing, housewares, building supplies, food, guns, perfumes, etc. The items were so well preserved that even a jar of pickles was opened and still edible. The museum still has items that have not been completely restored and those items are kept in a cooler on the site and worked on until they can be transferred to the museum floor.
|We are going to be building a house and what I wouldn't give|
to have those doorknobs!
One of the excavators was on site to talk with us and shared that they are currently in the process of digging up another steamboat. All total, eleven steamboats have been recovered.
To see Missouri's history in such a tangible way was very overwhelming to me. It was truly amazing.