Well how about if I tell you about someone else's tenacity in solving a mystery, and his successful search for buried treasure that led to a whole new world of learning?
The boat, like other steamboats that had met the same fate, was believed to be lost forever.
A river is more than an amenity; it is a treasure. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.]
|[picture by David Hawley]|
A local amateur treasure hunter named Bob Hawley was particularly intrigued by this missing steamboat and the mysterious cargo she held. He knew the course of the river had shifted decidedly eastward over the years, and based on extensive research, he and his sons surmised in 1987 that the missing Arabia might be located in the middle of a Kansas City cornfield. The farmer graciously agreed to let them search and dig in his field... as long as they were done in time for spring planting. They were. After Hawley's metal detector pinged the boat's boilers, with the use of heavy equipment, he, his sons, and some other family members and friends, uncovered the missing boat four months later... forty-five feet down, and a half mile from the current riverbanks. In the course of their work, they removed twenty thousand gallons of water from the site.
The location of the boat isn't the most amazing part. The most amazing part is the condition of its contents. Buried under the mud for over 130 years, the goods were beautifully preserved, serving as a time capsule from the past, and showing us more about the needs of day-to-day living in frontier American than any history book alone could ever do. The remarkably preserved contents of this boat included clothing, tools, guns, food products, dishes, jewelry, wine, window glass, French perfume, lumber, a couple of prefab houses, a sawmill, and a case of cognac.
The past is a treasure chest filled with learning opportunities for our present and future, but only if we look inside. [Kevin Eikenberry]
Great idea! Shall we...?
This fine china was still preserved in its original yellow packing straw.
And not just a FEW dishes were found, either. LOTS of dishes were found, as you can see from this picture taken inside of the Steamboat Arabia museum in Kansas City.
Here's a glimpse at some of the recovered clothing.
Many guns and knives were recovered.
Check out this spiffy-looking rubber shoe.
And a beaver-skin hat. Naturally waterproof!
A video taken inside the museum!
What an amazing story, and what an amazing place to visit... even if only vicariously.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
|Time to go digging for some more fun facts.|