Sultana disaster

An illustration of how the Sultana Disaster Museum Flag Plaza will look.

MARION — The Sultana Steamboat explosion of 1865, in which 1,200 people died, is the “Greatest Maritime Disaster in United States History.”

While many people have never heard of the tragedy, a small group in Marion close to the site of the disaster formed the Sultana Historical Preservation Society and opened a modest museum in 2015. The organization is now planning a multi-million-dollar new Sultana Disaster Museum, designed by Haizlip Studio of Memphis, to be located in the center of the City of Marion.

The Sultana Historical Preservation Society has partnered with Bricks R Us to offer an opportunity for anyone wishing to purchase a memorial brick to be placed in the flag plaza at the entrance to the new Sultana Disaster Museum. The memorial brick campaign will allow participation for all who believe in the value of awarding the Sultana Disaster its rightful place in history.

The flag plaza is an ideal location for descendants of those who experienced the tragedy to memorialize their ancestors and advocates of the museum to exhibit their support.

The future museum will commemorate and honor those who experienced the horrific disaster and preserve a piece of our nation’s history. The story of the Sultana has national appeal and the museum is forecast to attract 50,000 visitors to Marion annually. Those tourists are projected to contribute more $3.5 million in spending in the Delta Region.

For more information contact Tracy Brick, Sultana Disaster Museum Project Director, at 870-739-6041 or tracy.brick@marionarkansas.org, or visit www.sultanadisastermuseum.com.