The Mamie S. Barrett, Abandoned Towboat (Vidalia,…

The Mamie S. Barrett, Abandoned Towboat (Vidalia, Louisiana) 

ADDRESS: 163-, 253 S Prong Rd, Vidalia, LA 71373

COORDINATES: 31.404967, -91.581438

The Mamie S. Barrett was a towboat built in 1921 by the Howard Shipyard of Jeffersonville, IN, for the Barrett Line (Oscar F. Barrett) of Cincinnati. The boat is 146 feet long and 30 feet wide.

The boat was sold to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 1923 and sent to Florence, AL. It appeared in the Rock Island District inventory in 1926 and was renamed “Penniman” in 1935. The boat retired from the U.S. Army in 1947 and was sold to the Vollmer Brothers Construction Co., and sold again in 1949 to Spencer Merrills. Merrills converted the boat into a clubhouse and restaurant called “Piasa”. In 1981 the boat was sold to Dick and Kathy Oberle who moved it to Eddyville, KY. The boat was given back her original name, underwent an extensive restoration and served as a restaurant at the marina on the Cumberland River. In 1987 the boat was purchased by John and Mary Houseman and was brought to Vicksburg. Around 1990 the boat was purchased as casino boat but never used. 

After about 1993, the boat was subject to a flood and was later moved to Vidalia, Louisiana. Many people have offered to purchase the boat, however, none came through.