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Fall 2018 Howard Steamboat Museum Newsletter

Lots of exciting news at the little museum that can and does!

Fall 2018 Newsletter


Soon the leaves will begin their annual color show, followed by brisk mornings, the smells of pumpkin spice, and apple cider. Fall is almost upon us.


We have our 2nd Annual Car Show on the 15th of September (16th is the rain date).  This year we will be adding a few new things.  The Carriage House will be open to the public as will the Beer Booth inside.  We will have a raffle with many prizes and the tickets will be sold by wandering vendors on the campus.  And lastly, we fixed the voting problems from last year and the trophies will be distributed at 3:00pm this year.  This should be a fascinating day of fun on the campus and we can’t wait to share it with you again!


On the 14th of October we have an afternoon of steamboatin’ excitement planned!  Starting at 4:00pm we will be dedicating a new model of the Str. MISSISSIPPI III built by local Master Scale Modeler, Marty Richardson.  After this we will have a “River Rummage Sale” of river collectibles donated by our great friends and river fans collections to the museum.  Then to cap off the excitement, Ms. Kadie Engstrom, Education Coordinator for the Str. BELLE OF LOUISVILLE will present her talk for our River Ramblings series “Women of River History- Here and There”.  This should be an excellent afternoon of knowledge, comradery, and opportunity for the river fan in your household!  Plan to attend!


Don’t forget, to end the fall season we have our annual Christmas Open House coming up on the 9th of December.  It will feature the traditional, beautiful decorations in the mansion with the new twist of the snacks in the Carriage House.  If you haven’t seen this fabulous renovation, be sure to come and see it at the open house!


There is a whole lot going on around here and even more excitement in the near future.


Welcome home to the Howards!


Car Show 15, September 2018 at 10:00am-4:00pm


The Second Annual Howard Steamboat Museum Car Show is coming up on Saturday the 15th of September (Sunday the 16th is our rain date).


The Howard Steamboat Museum Car Show will be held on the campus of the Museum and there is no admission to come and be a spectator! We will have many beautiful cars to peruse, a Food Booth, Beer Garden, discounted tours of the Museum, Clark Memorial Hospital will have a Health Booth, Jim O’Neal Ford will have some new cars to see, we will have a raffle with some really great prizes (how about a yet to be determined grand prize, Auto Polish, Cruises on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, Gift baskets, Oil Changes for your car, restaurant gift cards, tools, and many more great items from many vendors!), a 50/50 Drawing, and much, much more!


We can’t wait to show you a great afternoon here at the museum with this amazing attraction.

If last year’s show was any indication, you don’t want to miss this one!


The Carriage House Event Center at the Howard Steamboat Museum


If you have been waiting to hear that the Historic 1880’s Carriage House Event Center at the Howard Steamboat Museum is open for business, wait no more!

We have opened our new rental facility to the public and have been very impressed with the reception we are getting from the public.  Rock Paper Hammer (our contractor) created a facility that was far superior to anything in our wildest dreams.  The craftsmanship and attention to detail their craftspeople utilized in the renovation of this storied facility is nothing short of amazing.  You truly have to see it to believe it!

Let us share some of the details about this spectacular facility so you can understand just how wonderful it is!

We can easily accommodate 100 people in Bales Hall (the main reception room). Bales Hall is a breathtaking room with 40’-foot vaulted ceilings, white washed wall panels and features sliding doors (manufactured from reclaimed lumber in the renovation process) to separate off the Reception Lobby if necessary.  It has doors that open out to the Veranda to the south and the patio to the north. Our immaculate restrooms are mere steps away from any table in Bales Hall. We offer flexible seating and table arrangements to cater to your every need.

The Reception Lobby is a more intimate space, complete with a unique under staircase nook and a functional fireplace! This warm and inviting room features natural wood walls, a generous cloak room, and access to both the patio and veranda.

Should wedding bells be your reason to call, the Bride will have accommodation second to none with our custom designed dressing room on the second floor. This special space comes with its own dedicated dressing room and private shuttered accommodation to “peek in” on her guests without being seen.  Even private restroom facilities are included for the ultimate respite before her special day begins

The Catering Kitchen is beautifully set up to accommodate the needs of your chosen Caterer. Every modern convenience is in place to make their job easier in accommodating the requirements of your guests. We have a warming oven, refrigeration, many stainless steel work surfaces, a three-position sink, and a stove to make sure everything is just perfect.  Even an ice maker is placed in the kitchen for your Caterers needs.

Then there is our bar, designed to serve your guests both in Bales Hall and on the veranda outside at the same time. This is a spacious area designed specifically to provide easy service to your guests and your bartenders alike. The main serving bar top in Bales Hall is a model of a Howard-built ferry Boat hull from the 1880’s.  Just like ones the craftsmen in the yard used for years to perfect the measurements of the hulls of their vessel.  The atmosphere it creates is simply intoxicating. You can just imagine what the hard working craftspeople of the Howard Shipyard were thinking as they built those great floating palaces while you enjoy your beverage in this special space!

Because the Carriage House is located on the campus of the museum, you can add yard tents outside and expand accommodation to many more guests than the building can hold. So don’t let that figure hold you up from looking at our truly unique facility!

Your guests will talk about the event you are planning for years after they have enjoyed the comfort and gentility of the Carriage House. Please come visit us soon and let us show you this amazing state-of-the-art facility.

To plan your perfectly organized event, please call Bonnie at (812) 913-4591.


River Ramblings 14, October 2018 at 4:00pm


The event will start off with the dedication of our newest acquisition, a professionally built model of the Str. MISSISSIPPI III, a Corps of Engineers Inspection Boat that has an interesting history, in that she was an older boat transferred to a new hull in 1927 built by the Howards (something not normally done on the river, yet totally successful). The model was built by local Master Scale Modeler, Mr. Marty Richardson especially for the Howard Steamboat Museum.


After the model dedication, there will be a River Rummage Sale! This will be a sale of steamboat collectibles and trinkets not found anywhere else as they come from the collections of some of the members of the Howard Steamboat Museum. The surprises that may become yours await your inspection.  Things like t-shirts, mugs, books, and other must haves will be available at very reasonable prices.  Just think of the wonderful holiday presents that might be lurking on the tables?  Bring cash, because you’re sure to find something you can’t live without!


The Grand Finale of this great afternoon of fun will be a 4:30 presentation by Ms. Kadie Engstrom, Education Coordinator for the Str. BELLE OF LOUISVILLE! Kadie has worked with the historic steamboat BELLE OF LOUISVILLE in several capacities since 1972, and has been Education Coordinator since 1992. She has written books, booklets, articles, and other resources concerning community history, steamboats, Ohio River history, the Belle’s history, and the history of Life-Saving Station #10; and has developed and facilitated educational experiences for children and adults, including community presentations and exhibits, classroom and on-board programs for students, workshops for teachers, and narrations and tours for groups of all ages.



Kadie’s presentation (Women in River History – Here and There) will highlight some well-known and some lesser-known women who impacted the history of the inland waterways and the steamboat era, including women in the Louisville and southern Indiana area.


This will be a not to miss event!   Suggested $5.00 donation, please.


Group Tours

Do you have a group that is looking for a new venue to explore this fall?

The Howard Steamboat Museum is conveniently located in Jeffersonville, IN, near many restaurants and attractions in the area. Imagine sharing the mansion and its storied history with your group and then dining in the local area.  What a wonderful way to show your group the history of the community and spend quality time with them!

We offer discounts for groups of 10 or more people, and can accommodate large groups (30-50 people) comfortably. We do require at least a two week advanced reservation to accommodate your group.

We can customize an experience to accommodate your needs with possibilities like, having a docent aboard your bus to prepare your guests for the experience, a video presentation to introduce them to the Howard family legacy, docents staged throughout the mansion to answer your guest’s questions with personal service. We are looking forward to sharing this great facility with your special group!

Call us at (812) 283.3728 and find out what wonderful opportunities we have to offer your group!


Sad losses in our HSM Family


With great sadness we report the passing of Janet Sue Norrington, 86, mother of our Director-Curator, Keith Norrington, on August 23, after a brief illness.  Janet and husband, Ken, have been familiar faces as enthusiastic volunteers around the HSM for some years, and have been extremely supportive of Keith’s longtime involvement with the museum, beginning with his time as a teenage volunteer in 1968.  Janet and Ken have not only served as tour docents and volunteers for various events, but have frequently donated cleaning supplies, Christmas trees, seasonal decorations and funds for other needed items.  Always desiring the museum to look its best, Janet was very meticulous about her weekly volunteer work of dusting.  It was her request that memorial contributions be made to the HSM.  Janet’s smile, kindness and generosity will surely be missed by all whose lives she touched.

 Long-time HSM volunteer Lowell B. Smith, 92, passed away on Sunday, September 02, 2018. Following his service in the United States Navy during World War II, he graduated from Michigan State University and began a long career in the field of special education. For 34 years he served the New Albany-Floyd County Schools, initially as a speech and hearing therapist. The field of special education expanded and Lowell’s vision and leadership led the transformation of special education services in the NAFC Schools. He retired as Director of Special Education in 1988.

Lowell was an Instructor at Indiana University Southeast and he held board positions with the New Albany Library and Bridgepoint. He volunteered in many capacities with Bridgepoint/Good Will Industries for over 50 years. Lowell was a member of the Speed Memorial Church, the Propeller Club and the Civil War Round Table. Volunteering at the Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he held the position of Docent, allowed Lowell to share his passion for the river and steamboats.

He married Doris Jeannette Jackson on September 5, 1948 in Speed, IN. For almost 70 years they shared their love of travel throughout the United States and Europe.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Speed Memorial Church (328 US-31, Sellersburg, Indiana 47172), to the Howard Steamboat Museum (1101 E. Market Street, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130) or to the Crusade for Children (520 W. Chestnut Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202


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Calling All Volunteers!


We are looking for a few good people. Do you like to talk to people and meet people from all over the country?  Are you interested in sharing local history with visitors?

The Howard Steamboat Museum can use your talents!

We are seeking four people who can be volunteer docents for the museum, interpreting the house and collection for our visitors. We would like to have people who can work from 10:00am until 4:00pm at least one day a week.  We aren’t always busy and you will have the museum at your disposal to read, learn, and explore in your free time.

We will train you in what you need to know. Our belief is that we give you the tools and you make those facts blossom for our guests in your own way.  You will be expected to greet our guests as they arrive, assist them in a tour of the museum, handle sales of gift shop items, and balance your cash drawer at the end of the shift.  It is a lot of fun and you sure meet some interesting people along the way.

Contact us or call us at (812) 283.3728 and let us know just how interested you are! 



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