Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2000.008.011
Description Indiana Model Ship by Charles Parsons is a handmade, wooden paddle boat/ steamboat. Boat is oval in shape with 3 levels and grey in color where painted. The rest of ship is unpainted, light wood. The top level is a small, oval compartment with wood sides and grey roof. On the top is a captain's deck with wheel and captain figure. The captain's deck reads "INDIANA" in white on a grey strip on each side. In front of the top compartment are 2 smoke stacks. Below this deck is a larger oval level that is very narrow and just contains windows. This leads into the second level which is the entire length of the ship and has an open walkway around the entire border. The walkway and rails are wood and the roof is painted grey. A platform on each side of the second level holds a launch/dinghy. The third level also has an open walkway around the entire perimeter and is used to hold cargo (some cargo can be seen as well as small human figurines working). The second and third levels are connected on each side towards the rear by the wheels/paddles to move the boat. The wheels can be seen at the base, but are mostly covered by a plain wooden panel that reads "LOUISVILLE & CINCINNATI. / INDIANA" in grey and red letters. There is another launch hanging at rear of boat. Front of boat has a ramp (?) hanging and 5 poles with ropes on them.
Object Name Model, Instructional
Collection 3D - Documentary Objects
Title Indiana Model Ship by Charles Parsons
Date 1988
Creator Parsons, Charles
Role Artist
Creator Bates, Alan L.
Role Designer
Inscription Text "INDIANA / 1900-1916 / MODEL BY / CHARLES H. PARSONS / 1988" (engraved on brass colored, metal plaque on base).
Provenance Local artist Charles Parsons constructed this model at his home in San Carlos.
Notes Indiana
American Side-wheel Packet Riverboat, 1900
Model by Charles Parsons, Model Plans by Alan L. Bates
1:96 scale, Completed 1988

Built in 1900, this 285-foot Ohio River steamboat carried passengers and freight between Cincinnati and Louisville. Smaller than more celebrated riverboats, Indiana’s size allowed her to better navigate in low river conditions.

The lower deck held the freight and the steam engines. The upper deck housed the crew. On the middle deck, passenger cabins surrounded a long central dining room with a lounge on each end and a barber shop and bar on each side.

In 1916, a f ire damaged the Indiana, but she was rebuilt and renamed the America.
Dimensions H-11.5 W-47 D-14.5 inches
Medium Wood
Search Terms Model
Model Ships
Parsons, Charles H.
Working Ships
Indiana (ship)
Bates, Alan L.
Subjects Model ships
Working ships
People Parsons, Charles H.
Bates, Alan L.