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The Sunken Treasures of the Arabia [19th c wreck]
Wall Street Journal ^ | September 4, 2013 | Bruce Cole

Posted on 09/07/2013 9:48:07 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

In 1987, a group of treasure hunters discovered a steamboat buried deep in a Kansas cornfield. This was the Arabia, a side-wheeler whose hull was pierced by a submerged tree on Sept. 5, 1856, near Parkville, Mo., 6 miles north of Kansas City. The ship, just three years old, had embarked from St. Louis, steaming westward on the Missouri to deliver merchandise to 16 frontier towns. The cargo included 20,000 feet of lumber, 4,000 shoes and boots, two prefab homes destined for Logan, Neb., a sawmill and fixtures, and a case of Otard Dupuy & Co. cognac.

Although the Arabia went down in 15 feet of water, all of its 130 passengers reached shore on the ship's skiff -- the only fatality was a mule tied to the deck. Within days, the Missouri's silt began to engulf the wreck; within weeks the ship had sunk from sight.

...treasure hunters Bob Hawley and his sons David and Greg began to search for the wreck after hearing tales of its sinking. From the Arabia's manifest, which a crewmember gave to a St. Louis newspaper shortly after the sinking, the Hawleys learned the locations the steamboat was to visit, what it was carrying and the names of the merchants awaiting its goods. They then consulted a 19th-century map marking the sites of shipwrecks on the river and zeroed in on a cornfield in Parkville, the location where they thought the Arabia was buried. Over the years, the Missouri had meandered half a mile from where the ship went down and the river's thick silt had turned the site into farmland.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; kansas; missouri Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

Missouri Steamboat Buried in a Cornfield (interesting bit of history)
Meridian Magazine | 2002 | Cristie B. Gardner
Posted on 12/02/2002 9:31:59 AM PST by Some hope remaining.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/799218/posts


2 posted on 09/07/2013 9:48:41 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

3 posted on 09/07/2013 9:48:55 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I have seen this private museum and it is well worth the trip if you are in MO. Fantastic displays of brand new looking items in huge quantities. In fact, some items were so preserved that they looked fake. They have even sampled the preserved pickles and peaches in the cargo and found them fine. Wow!

I talked to one of the sons that did the dig and he told me all about the hassle and anger from the usual academic and government suspects. Seems they think that anything not in one’s own backyard (and it was on a farmer’s land who gave them approval) and not made of plastic or sold in the last five years belongs to them in the ‘name of the people and science.’


4 posted on 09/07/2013 9:55:13 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (You hear it here first.)
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To: SunkenCiv
130+ people and no one thought to untie the mule? Was it below deck, or something?

You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.
Blazing Saddles

5 posted on 09/07/2013 9:57:58 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: SunkenCiv
The museum's collection is an Aladdin's cave of objects from the year 1856, ranging from the Arabia's towering paddlewheel and huge boilers to thousands of tiny buttons in countless patterns and colors. Rather than paying for high-price museum design consultants, the entrepreneurial Hawleys studied department-store design to display the Arabia's goods in the most eye-appealing manner.

What a fabulous story!! Thank you for posting and sharing.

Much of what was needed to build the American West is on exhibition: a carpentry shop; axes, wood planes, window glass, nails, locks, door knobs. There are pistols, rifles—possibly being smuggled to abolitionists in the Kansas Territory—hundreds of pocket knifes, and innumerable Indian trade beads.

THE ARABIA STEAMBOAT MUSEUM

6 posted on 09/07/2013 9:59:10 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: SunkenCiv
Who knew? But the American spirit of entrepreneurial enterprise is still alive and well.
7 posted on 09/07/2013 10:04:05 AM PDT by Monkey Face (Common sense is not a gift, it's a punishment. You have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The U.S. curatorial and conservation establishment sniffed at these outsiders." ****************************************************************** To me this is the key sentence of the article.
I wonder how much history has been lost because the "Professionals" had disdain for rank amateurs like these. After all the Hawleys did not go to the proper schools. They were just tradesmen and what did they know about museums and conserving artifacts. Worst of all, they did not get the almighty government involved.
8 posted on 09/07/2013 10:07:21 AM PDT by Tupelo (There are no Republicans or Democrats in Washington. Just Millionaires protecting their turf.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Amazing how deep the Arabia was buried.

There is a similar story of a lost locomotive in Colorado, sunk into a river bad. Some say it was salvaged long ago, others think it is hiding somewhere nearby underground.

And who above mananged to make a comment that had to be deleted by a mod about this story?


9 posted on 09/07/2013 10:09:03 AM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn...)
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To: SaxxonWoods

Oh, first comment. Probably done by request due to a boo-boo. Never mind.


10 posted on 09/07/2013 10:10:11 AM PDT by SaxxonWoods (....Let It Burn...)
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To: SunkenCiv

I have visited the museum several times and see something new on each visit. What appeals is that these are not rusty, broken and forgotten things rescued from some archeological dig site. It’s all brand new stuff as it would have appeared had it made it to the stores upriver. This provides quite a different understanding of life in those days, and we are spared the “interpretations” about how evil Americans were and are.


11 posted on 09/07/2013 10:20:30 AM PDT by centurion316
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To: SaxxonWoods

I visited the museum about 5 years back while on a business trip, very interesting. One of the discovers of the wreck gave a presentation. I may be wrong but if I recall that same guy died a short while later in a traffic accident.


12 posted on 09/07/2013 10:23:03 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: WorkingClassFilth
he told me all about the hassle and anger from the usual academic and government suspects

Seems like the academics and government had the same opportunity to do the research and locate the ship and didn't care, until someone else did the hard work.

/johnny

13 posted on 09/07/2013 10:24:58 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SunkenCiv

Imagine what is beneath your feet. Many things buried by time. This is awesome.


14 posted on 09/07/2013 10:28:59 AM PDT by DeWalt
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To: SunkenCiv

I wish a river of gold had meandered thru my backyard..

Meander haPPens.


15 posted on 09/07/2013 10:30:37 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi --)
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To: SunkenCiv

Loved visiting that museum! It is easy to spend the entire day in there, and still not see it all...and we did.


16 posted on 09/07/2013 10:36:01 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Precisely it. I know another man who digs fossils and does so painstakingly with logs, maps and records detailing down to weather on the day of the digs. This is done on private land and the fossils are used to teach homeschoolers (and others) about creation, the flood and general science. There many others out there doing the same kind of things. Our usual suspects want this shut down and illegal because the idea is that these crude and ignorant amateurs are destroying our common heritage. Never mind that the academy persecutes creationist and these ‘precious relics’ would never have seen the light of day without the work of ignorant savages much like those who began the branch of scientific inquiry into paleontology in the first place.


17 posted on 09/07/2013 10:37:38 AM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (You hear it here first.)
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To: SaxxonWoods

Copyrighted photo.


18 posted on 09/07/2013 10:44:37 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: SunkenCiv

It is possible many professional and academic historians and museum curators cannot tell the difference from amateur archaeologists/historians and looters/grave robbers. That is very unfortunate because amateur historians are responsible for the vast majority of research and preservation of firearms history. I cannot name one academic firearms history book but there are hundreds of books by amateurs that not only document firearms history but advance the sophisticated techniques and challenges of preservation of both history and the arms themselves.

As far as professional curators go, I recall visiting the Smithsonian Museums about ten years ago and observed that the display on WW2 soldiers’ souvenirs that had an incorrectly identified item prominently on display. Many less prestigious museums have little idea about how to properly care for their collections, no little about their collections, and have poor conditions for storing their collections resulting in damage and deterioration.


19 posted on 09/07/2013 11:14:56 AM PDT by iacovatx (Conservatism is the political center--it is not "right" of center)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
I have seen this private museum and it is well worth the trip if you are in MO. Fantastic displays of brand new looking items in huge quantities. In fact, some items were so preserved that they looked fake. They have even sampled the preserved pickles and peaches in the cargo and found them fine. Wow!

My wife and I and our three granddaughters spent the better part of a day in the Arabia museum last summer. It is a totally unique exhibit, thoroughly fascinating.

The granddaughters got to try some perfume that had been salvaged from the wreck...and found that it was still active.

Like you, we got to talk to one of the Hawleys. They are an impressive bunch of folks...and very approachable.

Any FReeper who finds themselves in the KC area would be advised to plan on visiting the Arabia.

20 posted on 09/07/2013 11:44:59 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance On Parade)
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To: JRandomFreeper

I grew up in Pantego and always heard about a buried steam locomotive in Village Creek. Right there at Green Oaks and Highway 80/Lancaster in the bottoms. Someone had done some sonar or whatever on the area of the wreck and found a HUGE piece of metal underneath the creek. The owners of the line, I think U.P. will not under any circumstances let anyone dig there because of the communication lines running along the track.


21 posted on 09/07/2013 11:53:02 AM PDT by waterhill (I Shall Remain, in spite of __________.)
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To: waterhill

ok found it:

http://www.texaspacificrailway.org/news/the-gilmer-mirror-a-steam-engine-buried-in-metroplex-quicksand-86.html


22 posted on 09/07/2013 11:56:40 AM PDT by waterhill (I Shall Remain, in spite of __________.)
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To: Tupelo
...so with the help of extended family, friends and money borrowed from the bank, they built a 35,000-square-foot museum for less than half a million dollars with the can-do entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the entire enterprise. And they did it without any state or federal support, something they are proud of.

I highlighted the key phrase that I took away. Not bad... 80,000 visitors/year... any freepers going through the area should stop by.

There are many, many, photographs of the artifacts (even the mule skeleton was conserved) at this webite:

http://www.pbase.com/hockingphotos/steamboat_arabia

23 posted on 09/07/2013 2:54:26 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: Tupelo

Let’s not miss the major point about the academics and professional in this field—it’s all about the money.

They hate it that they missed out on possible millions in government funding to a bunch of amateurs who built a musesum out of love for the Arabia and its treasures they developed while doing the dig.

They built it for less and are exhibiting their finds via private enterprise.

And the museum might actually make them some money for their hard work and faith.

Man, you know the academics hate that.


24 posted on 09/07/2013 3:59:27 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: SunkenCiv

Amazing story. Quite a find.


25 posted on 09/08/2013 1:16:14 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Let me hear what God the LORD will speak. -Ps85)
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To: SunkenCiv

my FIL went there last year and said it was AMAZING

We are going to go on our next trip up to KS

it seems well worth the visit


26 posted on 09/08/2013 1:23:14 PM PDT by Rightly Biased (Avenge me Girls AVENEGE ME!!!! ( I don't have any son's))
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