Researchers discovering history of sunken steamboat

Monday, September 6th 2004, 1:48 pm
By: News On 6

FORT TOWSON, Okla. (AP) More than 160 years after it sunk in the Red River, researchers are discovering the history of the steamboat Heroine.

Archaeologists using scuba gear are diving into the murky water to excavate the paddlewheeler that foundered while trying to supply troops at Fort Towson.

Divers are using vacuum dredges to remove tons of sand that the river has deposited on the ship, which was laden with pork, flour and other essentials.

The wreck lay buried in a cow pasture for more than a century until the wandering river caused it to emerge again in 1999.

The ship departed for the Oklahoma frontier outpost from Cincinnati about February 1838. It traveled the Ohio and Mississippi rivers before turning upstream when it reached the mouth of the Red River in Louisiana.