Boonville resident constructs boats of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
For Boonville resident Eric Owens, free time is spent creating models. But, instead of keeping them in his home, he donates them for everyone to enjoy.
Owens is widely known for creating a scaled model of the Katy Bridge, that actually includes a working representation of the lift span. In fact, Owens has been creating models his entire life. A quick visit to the Katy Depot on First Street allows visitors to see the scaled bridge firsthand, which has been housed at the depot since the ownership of the Katy Bridge was transfered to the City of Boonville.
Once Owens was finished with the bridge, he pursued other historical significant items to model.
"After I finished the Katy Bridge model, which was of great interest for the community, I had to find something else to do. Knowing the history of the area, I chose to focus on Lewis and Clark because of the historic impact it had on Boonville," Owens said.
It was a visit to Arrow Rock that inspired Owens what to create for his next project.
"I came across the boats in Arrow Rock at the museum before we went to the Lyceum Theater. When I saw the paintings, I was like huh-ah." Owens said.
The paintings had representations of the boats Lewis and Clark commanded up the Missouri River 210 years ago.
Furthermore, Owens investigated the boats on the internet. He found history on the three boats of the Corps of Discovery Expedition, which included the larger keel boat and two smaller boats.
"The keel boat was 8.5 feet wide, and housed 22 people. The two smaller boats housed six people each," Owens said.
For three months, Owens spent his free time constructing the small models. He even included a depiction of the canopy that housed Native American Guide Sacagawea when she was sick in one of the smaller boats.
The boats are currently on display at the Katy Depot.