Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri | Photo Credit: Flickr - Anthony G. Reyes
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Take advantage of the Arabia Steamboat Museum in downtown Kansas City for a unique history lesson and a glimpse into frontier life. This museum houses artifacts salvaged from a steamboat called the Arabia that sank in the Missouri River in 1856.

The Arabia was carrying over 200 tons of cargo destined for general stores in frontier towns when it hit a tree snag and went down. Thanks to a group of ambitious treasure hunters, the steamboat and its precious cargo were miraculously recovered in 1988. Realizing the immense historical significance of their findings, they established a museum to share these artifacts with the public.

Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri | Photo Credit: Flickr – Anthony G. Reyes

Walking into the Arabia Steamboat Museum feels like entering a time machine to 1856. Informative videos recount the fascinating story of Arabia’s sinking and excavation. But it’s the artifacts themselves that transport visitors back in time. Displays feature thousands of ordinary frontier goods like clothing, shoes, tools, and housewares, all perfectly preserved. You can even see jars of preserved pickles from 1856!

One of the highlights is a full-scale reproduction of Arabia’s main deck. Here, you’ll find the original steam engines, paddle wheels, and a skeleton of a mule that perished in the wreck. Nearby exhibits showcase artifacts mid-restoration as preservationists meticulously clean each item.

Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri
Arabia Steamboat Museum, Kansas City, Missouri | Photo Credit: Flickr – Anthony G. Reyes

The Arabia Steamboat Museum’s collection offers an extraordinary window into life on the American frontier, from dishware to dolls. The sheer volume and pristine condition of the objects is unparalleled. Whether you’re a history buff or love browsing old artifacts, this charming Kansas City museum is an ideal place to indulge your curiosity about days gone by.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the Arabia Steamboat Museum before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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