The Sassagoula Steamboat Company

An Idea Whose Time Was at Hand

The Sassagoula Steamboat Company, established in 1853.

The year was 1853, and change was in the air around Dixie Landings. Colonel J.C. and Millie were anticipating the first visit by their eldest daughter Sarah, who had gone several years before to Maryland to study economics. While there, she met, fell deeply in love with and married Buford Honeyworth III, an enterprising entrepreneur from Virginia, who quite coincidentally, had a number of thriving business interests in Baton Rouge.

Buford, being acutely attuned to the times, had carefully considered the impact of the steamboat on life along the Sassagoula. His business sense told him there was an opportunity to be pounced upon with the creation of a transportation company between Port Orleans and points north. Being himself somewhat familiar with the area, and having heard Sarah’s description of Magnolia Bend, he saw it as precisely the proper place to launch the endeavor.

Buford and the Colonel took an immediate liking to one another. The two spent many hours discussing the value of increased steamboat travel along the mighty Sassagoula. The Colonel introduced Buford to his old friend, Sir Edward Biltwright, an inventor and engineer of worldwide renown. After only the briefest of negotiations with the mechanical genius, Buford founded the Sassagoula Steamboat Company next to the Colonel’s Cotton Mill on January 3, 1853. The very next day, Sir Edward departed for Pittsburgh to superintend construction of the Sassagoula Steamboat Company’s first vessel — the Dixie Queen.

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