Friday, 14 October 2011

I Sometimes Put A Post About Shipwrecks On Our Blog,

normally they are found out at sea thousands of meters below the surface,

but many boats have sunk in fresh water rivers as well, take the River Missouri, the boat above, the Arabia, is just one of 295 wrecks recorded between 1853 - 1897 by Hiram H. Chittenden, that sunk on the River Missouri, one thing about rivers is that they change their course, so again taking the boat above the Arabia, it was found over a half mile from the current river's edge and 45 feet underground,

a team of explorers set to work, during the winter months of 1988 work begun to excavate it, trouble was soon encountered at the 20 foot mark as water began to flow into the hole, (the reason it was a winter dig was that the water level in the river would be at it's lowest), 20 wells 65 foot deep were dug and water pumped out at a rate of 20,000 gallons of water a minuet,

the fascinating thing about the wreck is that almost everything was recoverable, dishware, cases of eye glasses; ink wells; food bottles; medicines; spoons; bells; wrenches; guns; pocket knives; no two cases seemed to be exactly alike, all holding remains of the frontier era, all of this plus the the 25,000 pound boiler, paddle wheel structures, and finally the stern portion of the boat itself, can be seen at The Arabian Steamboat Museum, a great insight into life preserved in time, how much is it all worth? one of the team says it all, 

“When we started out we were mostly treasure hunters looking for exactly that, treasure; things that we could sell, after we realized what we had discovered, a certain understanding for exactly what we found set in, the largest single discovery of artifacts from the time of the early frontier, a time capsule that all should be able to see, and learn from, so we sold none of it, instead creating this wonderful museum housing the artifacts for all to enjoy.”

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