Sunken steamboat to be recognized with historical marker dedication

Arabia Steamboat Museum News Release

For more details, contact:
Arabia Steamboat Museum, (816) 471-1856



Parkville City Halll, (816) 741-7676

Sunken steamboat, frontier hardships to be recognized with historical marker dedication

An official historical marker will be dedicated on Thursday, July 9, at 2:00 p.m., along the walking trail at English Landing Park in Parkville, MO. This marker, near the bank of the Missouri River, will help identify the site of the Steamboat Arabia’s disastrous 1856 wreck. Events will take place on the far eastern edge of the riverfront trail.

The Steamboat Arabia made history when it hit a tree snag and sank on the Missouri River, just south of Parkville, MO. It became a legend as several groups over the next century made failed attempts at excavations, hoping to find high-quality Kentucky Bourbon. As the river changed course, the Arabia lay underground with 200 tons of cargo intact---until five modern-day adventurers re-discovered her treasure in the late 1980s.

Today, the Arabia’s cargo, preserved as a time capsule of frontier life, is housed at the Arabia Steamboat Museum in Kansas City. The collection is perhaps the most complete snapshot of pre-Civil war life to be found anywhere. Winter supplies including clothes, weapons, tools, and even food items, tell the stories of pioneers who faced hardships when supplies did not arrive at Western outposts.

Join us as we dedicate a permanent historical marker to reflect the importance of the Steamboat Arabia. This riverboat was a significant archaeological discovery, important to our understanding of Missouri history and the American frontier. Several of the individuals who recovered the treasures will be in attendance to share their personal stories of this one-of-a-kind discovery. Parkville and Platte County officials will also deliver remarks, including Mayor Nan Johnston, Parks & Recreation Director Brian Nowotny, and more.

“We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will be the past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible.” ---George Santayana

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