Friday, January 20, 2012

Steamboat Arabia

Are you a treasure hunter?? Saw some on my recent trip to Kansas City, Missouri. Visited the Steamboat Arabia Museum and it was also very fascinating. The steamboat Arabia sank suddenly in 1856 in the Missouri River near Kansas City, after striking a submerged tree. All 130 persons survived, but over 200 tons of frontier cargo was lost including dishware, china, tools, guns,hardware, clothing, beads, buttons, French perfume, medicine and bottle foods.
There is a great video that explains the entire process from the idea of the project the families involved and how and what they did. They actually found the steamboat in a farmer's field since the Missouri River's path changed over the years. They excavated in 1988-1989 and decided to begin the museum, mainly because what they found was the largest pre-Civil War artifact collection in the world. They have been working for years on preserving as much of the boat as possible and the cargo. 
It's AMAZING what was pulled out and very much intact and undamaged. The care that has been taken to save and preserve all of this cargo is amazing. Just the sheer numbers of items is amazing. 
And for me the neatest thing was after the movie, just before you actually go into the museum, one of the family members involved actually comes to the presentation and speaks to the group. We actually met Mr. Bob Hawley and he answered questions that were asked and it made it so much more personal! Not sure that I could or would have allowed my husband to do this at all!!!
Here are some of the pictures from the museum.
Postcard from the museum
These are a few of the bottles, buttons, jewelry, and millions of seed beads!

Beautiful china

Look at all of those boots!!

Few clothes and thousands of buttons....yes each of those circular containers contain buttons!!!

These are all household items, things used in building a home....on the right are displays of circles of skeleton keys! There are hinges, door knobs, nails and anything else you could use.

Dishes, bottles, containers of all kinds!

These are all tools or implements used for work!

This was one of the most interesting museums I've visited and really gives you a glimpse into life as it was in the United States in 1856.  If you ever get a chance to go you should!!


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