HOMER SMITH Excursion Steamboat of POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA
Authentic Scale Model Replica of the
Stern-Wheel Excursion Steamboat Homer Smith 1914-1928
Model by John Bowman 2009
The Stern-wheel packet-excursion steamboat Homer Smith was built by the Howard Shipyard at Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1914. Her wood hull measured 235 feet in length and her width was 40 feet by 5.9 feet. The Homer Smith staterooms could accommodate 125 overnight tourists and her large grand ballroom located on the boiler deck could pack in 2000 for day or nighttime excursionists. Her kitchen, pantry and main dining room was located on the main deck. She had main deck space for 600 tons of cargo. Her compound non-condensing engines, 16’s, 32’s-8 ½” were built by the Marietta Manufacturing Company. Her five boilers were manufactured by Spence, Smith & Koontz, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Homer Smith’s architecture went through many revisions evidenced in photographs taken over the years. Homer Smith was built for Homer Smith, Esq., Security Steamboat Co., Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Other principals instrumental in the building of the steamboat were financier, John S. Spencer and banker, C.C. Bowyer. Her pilot, Henry E. Holloway served on her from April 1915 into 1929. In 1915, Homer Smith ran excursions and that same year was placed in the Louisville, Kentucky-Cincinnati, Ohio trade. In 1916, she ran a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-New Orleans Mardi Gras excursion and became a regular Pittsburgh based excursion boat, wintering at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In 1928, the Pittsburgh Amusement Co. purchased her and she was renamed Greater Pittsburgh. Greater Pittsburgh continued in the excursion business moored on the Allegheny River at Pittsburgh’s Manchester where she burned in April 1931. Source: Historical article provided by the Point Pleasant, West Virginia River Museum titled, “True Story” by Fred Way, Jr., December 1969 issue of the S&D Reflector. Way’s Packet Directory, Homer Smith 2658 1914-1928 Pg. 216-217.
The Homer Smith model was commissioned by Point Pleasant, WV residents Lynn Durst and Nancy Jewel, granddaughters of Homer Smith for permanent display in the Point Pleasant River Museum, (West Virginia’s River Museum). The Homer Smith steamboat model was unveiled and presented to the museum at the summer meeting of the Ohio-Kanawha River Chapter of the Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, June 14, 2009.
Displayed at West Virginia’s Point Pleasant River Museum Point Pleasant, West Virginia.