Welcome aboard! You are walking on a replicated deck the same size as that of the Steamboat Arabia. Displayed on the 171-foot-long deck are the original boilers, engine, anchor and paddlewheel support timbers, just as they were when the “Great White Arabia” steamed along the river’s course. Found also was the section of the walnut tree that sank her.
The Arabia’s treasures tell an amazing story of how life was lived on the frontier. The selection of store items they once had may surprise you.
Once filled with boiling water and steam, these giant boiler tubes produced enough energy to push well over 200 tons of cargo and boat upriver against the swift current of one of the most notorious river systems in the world, the Missouri River.
Commonly called the “Doctor,” this steam-powered, water-pumping equipment pulled water from the river and forced it into the boiler system to be turned into steam. This piece of machinery is one of the oldest such steam engines in existence today.
Hidden from sight beneath the surface of the muddy Missouri River was the walnut tree that sank the Arabia. This log was found thrust through the front-left side of the steamer and was the reason for the boat’s demise.
Included in the Arabia’s cargo was a variety of personal items belonging to the passengers. These two figurines were discovered in just such a container. It’s impossible now to know whom the passenger may have been who journeyed with these items, but they remain to tell part of the story of those who traveled through this part of the country generations ago.