Homer is an appealing seaside town, remarkable for its 5-mile-long sand spit extending into Kachemak Bay. From 1899 to 1902, a company town flourished briefly at the end of Homer Spit, which was higher and wider before the 1964 earthquake. Coal was mined just west of present Homer, but the town grew up on the end of the spit, where the docking facilities were. A 7½-mile railroad connected the two sites. None of the buildings from this early town remains.
The town of Homer, on the mainland, grew slowly. A herring industry and fox-farming enterprises flourished in the 1920s but collapsed in the 1930s. Fishing has remained the mainstay of the economy.
Homer strikes the visitor as a relatively new town; while a couple of buildings predate 1930, most were built in the thirties and forties. The size and form of these early buildings, though, evoke the pioneer life; the houses are small and simple, without frills. The building materials are either log or wood frame. Many of the houses have been moved around town.
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