Our next stop was Kansas City, where we went to the Arabia Steamboat Museum. On its last journey, the Arabia left Saint Louis in 1856, bound for Omaha.
Ten miles north of Kansas City, she hit a log snag and sank in 15 feet of water. The 130 passengers and crew survived, but the Arabia and her 200-ton cargo were lost to the river.
132 years later, in 1988, five steamboat enthusiasts from the Kansas City area successfully recovered the Arabia and her cargo. The river had changed course since 1856, so the ship was recovered in a field.
Amazingly, one of those 5 enthusiasts was in the museum the day we were there, and told us many great stories.
The museum is full of pieces of the ship, and tons of the cargo, including one of the 2 28-foot paddle-wheels.
And the stern, including the rudder.
The 200-ton cargo consisted of thousands of items intended for the settlements of the American frontier.
Kitchen items -
Even lots and lots of shoes. These pictures are just a sampling of what is in the museum.
The only life lost on the ship was that of a mule. The skeleton was found tied to a lumber mill jack on the boat's stern.