The Steamboat Arabia left St. Louis bound for Omaha in 1856. In addition to the 130 passengers and crew on board, there were 200 tons of treasures bound for Western frontier settlers.
Unfortunately, when the steamboat passed Kansas City, it hit a snag and sank in 15 feet of water.
One hundred thirty-two years later, in 1988, 5 steamboat enthusiasts began digging for the remains in a field. Because the Missouri River had changed course since 1856, the Arabia was recovered in a ditch beneath 4 stories of river mud.
One of those 5 steamboat enthusiasts was there to speak to us!
The museum contained the stern and rudder of the ship -
One of the 2 28-foot paddle wheels -
And the tree snag recovered from the hold that caused the boat to sink!
In addition, there were many rooms of some of the 200 tons of treasures on the ship! This is the biggest collection of pre-civil war artifacts in the country! Lots of kitchen articles -
Tools and hardware -
And even a whole showcase of shoes!
Fortunately, no lives were lost except for this poor little mule. The skeleton was found tied to a lumber mill jack on the boat's stern.