11:08 AM

Left- This CDV shows a man going West and on the bottom reads in bold letters, 
"The Independent Gold Hunter On His Way to California. Neither Borrow or Lend." 
The sign post reads "St Louis 350 miles [pointing to the left] & California 1,700 ms [to the right- the same direction as the man is traveling]. 








Welcome back to my blog- This blog is helping me to keep my nose to the grindstone since I work on my project every day. This morning, I revised my Intro since I neglected to mention the artifacts- 
Sometimes I wonder if my end result with this project is two books- one on the history of the Arabia steamboat and one on the consignees....Or maybe this book is separated in Part One & Part Two....guess that is an editorial decision and I shouldn't spend time getting tied up into a knot.

My revision is hightlighted in red- how's this sound to you now?  Contact me
The steamboat Arabia seems to have been an insignificant boat at first glance. It was built in 1853 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, passed from owner to owner until September 5, 1856 when it sank near Parkville, Missouri, with a hull full of merchandise. For three years on the inland waterways, it appears this side wheeler was operating without a planned route and nothing could be further from the truth.
The significance of this steamboat only comes into focus when we step back and see the bigger picture. Steamboat lines, whether formal or not were becoming the norm and each time Arabia changed ownership, she became part of another line, serving a different purpose and showing us another facet of early Americana. The two hundred tons of merchandise on exhibit in the museum, now artifacts, were winter supplies for businessmen trying to make a living while serving a variety of consumers. Arabia is our stage and it is only through the eyes of those who owned, worked, consigned, and walked her decks and waved to her from the shore that brings an unbiased picture of daily life in the mid-century nineteenth century.