The USS Inaugural wreck exposed near St. Louis. Jim Salter, Associated Press, from here.
Low waters have revealed historic treasures elsewhere in the world as well. You might remember that I've written about artifacts from the Thames foreshore (the riverbank exposed at low tide) on this blog before, and you can read that post here. Thinking about such things reminded me of a story I read earlier this fall about artifacts recovered from Poland's River Vistula. In 1655, Swedish invaders looted Polish palaces of everything of value, including decorative stonework. A few of their ships sank in the river under the weight of the stone. Archaeologists had been aware of a few of these materials for some time, but low water levels allowed them to recover stunning examples for eventual museum display.
Stonework in the Vistula. Associated Press from here.
I can't help mentioning two other examples of similar archaeological treasures that I've been reading about recently, even though their discovery didn't involve low water. Two Missouri River wrecks that revealed amazing amounts of mid-nineteenth century material culture are the Arabia (sank 1856, recovered 1988) and the Bertrand (sank 1865, recovered 1968). Both wrecks were recovered in farm fields which had once been the bed of the Missouri. Take a few minutes to explore the Arabia here (or go see the museum if you're in Kansas City, Missouri) and read a bit about the Bertrand here. Ironically, the Bertrand collection is currently not on display, having been removed from the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge just ahead of a 2011 flood. Both collections are on my "bucket list" of artifacts I'd like to see some day.
It's hard to choose just one image to demonstrate the scope of the Arabia collection. Here's one showing hardware, from here.