The wide Kalamazoo River was a significant spot for pioneers. Its fast flowing water provided power to operate the mill and later for the first electric power produced in the village. The first grist mill at this site was a flour mill built by the Homer Milling Company in 1837.
Homer was called “Barneyville” until Milton Barney moved on in 1843. After that, the village name was changed to Homer because many of its early settlers came from Homer, New York.