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.
They did recover the stern. Much of the hull was damaged badly and impossible to recover within their restricted schedule.
China. There was lots of china. Some was personal property of the passengers while most was heading to retailers.
Lots of housewares.
There was the running gear for at least one wagon.
This does give us the chance to see the tapered ends of the axles.
And there are tools.
A Disston miter saw and box
And here lies some hopeful carpenter’s livelihood.
Click HERE to see all 83 pictures of the salvaged Arabia and its cargo.