Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday in Kansas

This morning we took our RV into Olathe Ford & RV Service Center to get the electrical problem fixed. To kill time, we drove back into Kansas City to see the Steamboat Arabia Museum. It was one of the most interesting museums I have ever seen! The Arabia was a steamboat built in 1853 but it sank in the Missouri River, near Kansas City in 1856. All the 132 passengers survived but it lay, not at the bottom of the river, under 40 ft. of dirt and water until in 1988 five businessmen from the area decided to locate the boat. It was no longer at the bottom of the river due to the change in course of the Missouri River over the many years and was located in a corn field on property owned by an area Judge. His forefathers who knew about the sinking of the boat had passed down stories through the years to the family. The way in which they found the ruins and dug up the parts of the boat which lay beneath the ground is fascinating. The preservation of the artifacts found on the boat is an on-going project and what we saw in the museum today was amazing....hundreds of pieces of dishes, pots and pans, cutlery, thousands of buttons and shoes and even some canned food that remained good during the years! The food that was still good included canned coffee beans, and canned pickles. One of the brothers who helped recover all those artifacts spoke to our group today after we viewed a brief videio about the recovery of the steamboat. He had some fascinting stories to tell about the unearthing and preservation of those things found with the boat. It took over a four-month time-frame to dig it all up. I also met his mother (in the elevator of the museum) who helps preserve some of the clothing. They all had to learn how to preserve these artifacts for future generations. If you are interested in this piece of history, just google the Steamboat Arabia, Kansas City, KS. I will put a few pictures here on the blog.

We were able to pick up our RV (problems fixed) and head south out of town toward Ft. Scott, Gil's hometown, and visit with his father and step-mother this evening. Doug came by a while to visit as well.

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