Sultana Steamboat Explosion

Phase One P 65+

Underneath a soybean field near Marion lies one of the most under-reported tragedies in the country’s history. On April 27, 1865, the steamboat Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River about 7 miles from Memphis. The boat carried more than 2,000 Union soldiers on their way home from the recently ended Civil War. At least 1,200 died. It’s considered the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history.

Sultana Disaster Museum Project Director Dr. Louis Intres told Talk Business & Politics it’s one of the most unknown events in American history. A nonprofit group, the Sultana Historic Preservation Society, is set to embark on an ambitious plan to build an interactive museum detailing the tragedy in Marion.

Museum plans are being formulated and it could cost as little as $4 million or as much as $10 million based on the size of the building, the technology used and the fundraising efforts, Intres said. The museum could be as large as 17,000 square feet, and preliminary plans call for it to be built in downtown Marion, he said.   MORE

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