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.
Harder Hall was named after its developers, Lewis F. Harder and Vincent Hall, and opened in 1927 on the shores of Little Lake Jackson. In 1953, it was bought by Victor and David Jacobson and partners Larry Tennenbaum and Sam Levy. Victor commissioned acclaimed golf architect Dick Wilson to transform the resort’s golf course into a championship layout. Victor and Eva Jacobson operated Harder Hall Golf and Tennis Camp at the hotel and were the first and last co-ed, teenage golf and tennis camp in a resort ever. Victor operated the hotel until 1982 when he sold it to Land Resources Corp. After a fair amount of work done on the inside, the group went bankrupt and were unable to complete their plan. The hotel has sat empty since.
Locals and urban explorers regard this building as ‘extrlemebly haunted’. Urban legend states that every owner of this hotel has died under “strange circumstances” – often within the limits of the property. Other legends tell of former visitors who’ve decided to never leave and remain in spectral form. It is said you can see the ghosts of those who died here peering out from the windows or roaming the courtyards. One woman who stayed at the hotel claimed,”I felt like I was being watched at all times. We’d hear unexplained scratching and thumping on walls at all hours of the night.”
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior