In 1988, Kansas City resident David Hawley, along with his father, brother and two friends, unearthed a steamboat with over intact 200 artifacts. The items included shoes, champagne, bottled pickles, and more. The discovery has proved to be an illuminating glimpse into pre-civil war life in America.
In 1856, the Arabia chugged along the Missouri River near Kansas City. The boat struck a snag of a sycamore tree and sank under the brown water.
In the late 19th century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers altered the course of the river. The waters receded over the silt covered Arabia. Trees grew out of the former river banks. Cornfields planted over the ship, hid the site for over a century.
Pieces of the ship and its immaculate cargo can be seen at the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, MO.