Fabric and Shoes
Along with the textiles, large quantities of sewing goods were being shipped to the frontier. Pins, needles, thread, and brass thimbles were discovered. Shown here are a few of the many brass thimbles found in wooden crates during the steamboat’s recovery.
Over 4,000 shoes and boots were also discovered, still crated in shipping boxes ready for delivery. This display of leather footwear made for men, women and children is an impressive exhibit to behold. A few of the styles were lined with buffalo hair to help protect against the cold winter chill.
It’s well documented that that Steamboat Arabia carried many Mormon emigrants upriver on their journey to Salt Lake City, Utah. Seen here is a buckle adorned with an eagle with outstretched wings atop a beehive that may have once belonged to just such a traveler. The beehive is one of the most enduring symbols of the Mormon religion. Early Mormons relate the beehive emblem to the Masonic symbol of industry and the pioneer virtues of thrift and perseverance. The emblem of an American eagle atop the beehive and flanked by white Sego lilies was an early design incorporated into the seal of the state of Utah. This early emblem still appears today on its state flag. Utah is nicknamed the “Beehive” State.