A few days back I wrote of the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City and my intent to return there. I returned and it was far more impressive than I remembered. Since my last visit, they have added an enormous volume of conserved and preserved freight.

The Arabia was carrying an estimated 200 tons of general merchandise from pins to two pre-fabricated houses. All of this cargo was prepaid and largely uninsured. It had winter provisions for 16 communities us the Missouri River. The Arabia sank on September 5th, 1856. The ship sank slowly so that all 130 passengers were able to escape but all the cargo was lost. The communities upstream were all left without. One small town was forced to consolidate with another town across the river.

Since the excavation of the Arabia in 1989, the team has working to preserve the recovered freight. This has been one of the largest fresh water conservations in history. Much is done but they still 60 tons in freezers, largely lumber and the two houses. These things take time.

This is the log that sank the Arabia. It was found within the hull.

Walnut can be dangerous.

Walnut can be dangerous.

They did recover the stern. Much of the hull was damaged badly and impossible to recover within their restricted schedule.

What they recovered much of the stern including the rudder.

They recovered much of the stern including the rudder.

China. There was lots of china. Some was personal property of the passengers while most was heading to retailers.

White always has been a very popular color.

White always has been a very popular color.

Lots of housewares.

Something for everyone.

Something for everyone. Much of it was pre-priced.

There was the running gear for at least one wagon.

Written about recently.

Written about recently.

This does give us the chance to see the tapered ends of the axles.

Not only tapered but angles to give the wheels their camber,

Not only tapered but angled to give the wheels their camber.

And there are tools.

Molding planes that were never use.

Molding planes that were never use.

Hardware for the needy expansion.

Hardware for the hungry expansion.

A Disston miter saw and box

The medallion is still legible.

The medallion is still legible.

And here lies some hopeful carpenter’s livelihood.

The tools, underused, outlived their owner.

The tools, underused, outlived their owner.

Click HERE to see all 83 pictures of the salvaged Arabia and its cargo.