A BOAT sunk in the river in 1856 – After a century appears at the surface with an unexpected… LOAD

A steamboat in the middle of a cornfield ? It seems absurd, but this is a discovery made in the US Midwest region . The event dates back to 1987 and represents the most formidable discovery : usually the relics and the contains  of these boats are very damaged. ;  however, in this case,  the relics were immaculate , intact as they were  when they sunk in the murky waters of the Missouri 160 years ago.
Let’s discover the reason for the unusual place of the discovery

 

In the second half of the 80’s,  steamboats were the most used means for goods transport; along the main rivers of the Midwest (Missouri , Ohio and Mississippi) connecting widely separated areas, making the exchange of all types of goods easier.
The Arabia steamboat  was built in 1853 : it could transport more than 200 tons of cargo, it was easy to maneuver  and it was among the fastest boats of the era

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The Arabia steamboat  was built in 1853 : it could transport more than 200 tons of cargo, it was easy to maneuver  and it was among the fastest boats of the era

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Unfortunately this did not save the terrible fate that came after only 3    years of navigation. The goal to reach  16 newly built cities on August 30, sank the boat after a week

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The reason for the unusual place of the discovery can be traced in the historical accounts of the period : a century after the sinking of the boat, an army of engineers undertook the work to change the shape of the river .
In order to ease transport, they tried to  approach the banks, tightening the river to increase the water supply

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One of the places where they started the activity was Parkville,  right next to the place where the Arabia steamboat was sunk

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The discovery was made thanks to the assiduous research of streamboats  enthusiast, David Hawley , who has committed all of its resources to locate and retrieve a wreck that had become a legend

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In 1987 , after identifying the area,  and after getting permission to dig  from the owner of the field, David succeeded in its intent . But that was just the beginning of the surprises

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Once the excavations started (  initially supported by the Hawley family) it became clear that the goods from Arabia boat had remained intact

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Along with the progress of the excavations, 200 tons of items in perfect condition were discovered : Goodyear rubber boots, intact champagne bottles , saddles , Indian necklaces and more. Soon they realized that the bulk of the load was so vast and well-preserved that they  could ever imagine

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After that, the team decided to transform a former fruit market in a museum to which it was given the name of the boat and which attracts many onlookers every year

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