The Steamboat Arabia Museum

2019 West Again, Missouri, Road Trip, States

When the Steamboat Arabia sank in the Missouri River in 1856 she was carrying over 200 tons of cargo, merchandise destined for general stores in 16 midwestern towns on the American frontier. All 150 passengers and crew survived but the goods she carried were lost for 132 years, until a group of treasure hunters went in search of the bounty. Since the Missouri River had changed course not long after her sinking, the Arabia was buried under a Kansas cornfield when she was uncovered in 1988. Today her treasures have been excavated, catalogued, preserved, and are displayed at The Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. What may well be the largest collection of pre-Civil War objects, items from the ship are akin to what might be found in a Walmart delivery truck today – a vast collection of everyday items – tools, books, dishes, calico buttons, bitters, boots, shoes, pickles, clothespins, cookware – a few luxury items, and even a Frozen Charlotte Doll. nearly everything is brand new. It was an amazing trip through time! Now after talking with Matthew Hawley, we’ll be looking forward to news of the Steamboat Malta!

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1 Comment

  1. Steve and Karen

    Just discovered a documentary about The Steamboat Arabia on Curiosity Stream entitled “Cornfield Shipwreck.”

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