"This is the farthest and fastest these pickles have ever traveled," says Hawley, who drove the pickles on a 36-hour trip from the
The tall jar of sweet pickles along with a bottle of ketchup will go on display
The history center will be the site of a "
The exhibit here is the first time an exhibit from the
By the way, these are not Heinz pickles. The sinking of the Arabia in the
Getting the pickles here demanded keeping them cool, a task accomplished with two electric coolers -- one as a backup -- history center staffers found online for
The pickles and ketchup were put in the cooler, surrounded by a plastic foam framework to keep the bottles from moving. Hawley plugged one into his car and took off from
The Arabia, a packet boat built at a variety of sites along the
Hawley's father, Bob, owner of a refrigeration firm in
The boat essentially was carrying goods to supply the move west: clothes, shoes, food, even prefab homes.
Hawley says when they found the pickles and lifted the bottles out of the water, the brine began to ferment immediately. They realized they had to keep them cool. They put the 36 bottles that weren't broken into a refrigerator.
Eventually, he says, they resealed them in a process that involved getting corks from a manufacturer of wine-making supplies. The jars were put into an ice-filled tub to keep them cool, recorked and then sealed with wax.
One of the members of Hawley's crew tasted one of the pickles, Hawley says, and reported it was not quite crisp, but it wasn't mushy, either, and still had a pickle taste.
"I don't even like pickles," Hawley says, "so I wasn't about to do that."
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