Sea-Fever blog


The Ship Residence, Put-In-Bay, Ohio by Peter A. Mello
November 9, 2007, 6:01 am
Filed under: maritime heritage, storytelling

High upon a promontory on South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, sits the Owners and Captains Quarters of the former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, The Benson Ford. The boat was built by Henry Ford and named after his grandson many years ago. After fifty years of service on the Great Lakes, the Benson Ford was scheduled in 1986 to be scrapped at the Port of Cleveland, Ohio. On the top front section of the boat were the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own pleasure while traversing the Great Lakes on business. This is when an Ohio husband and wife stepped in realizing that these elegant quarters would be a magnificent residence, if they could only be removed from the rest of the ship and brought to land. After many days with torches and cranes, the Quarters were removed from the ship and floated by barge some sixty miles west to the tranquil island of South Bass Island. Additional cranes were needed to lift the Quarters off the barge at the Island up a steep eighteen foot promontory to its final site on solid bedrock on a single family home lot. The Quarters became The Ship Residence, a private home on South Bass Island. (from Dutton Auction and Realty Co.)

(Photo credit Donna Baker via Webshots.com)

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[…] The idea of living on a houseboat, docked in a harbor, has great appeal for some.  The idea of taking a boat out of the water and creating a residence on dry land with it is more novel.  An Ohio couple did just that, when they salvaged the quarters of the Benson Ford, a ship once owned by Henry Ford and used to transport iron ore across the Great Lakes. The ship’s interior had beautiful walnut paneled staterooms, a dining room and galley.  Recognizing the value of the architectural details, they removed the cabin from the rest of the ship, floated it to a lot on an island and converted it into private residence. source […]

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[…] are many fine examples of houseboats that folks call home. With The Ship Residence the boat is actually on land. Lots of land. This was a ship that was commissioned by Henry Ford of […]

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The ship was built 1952 by DeFoe Shipbuilding in Bay City, MI. Its original name was Richard M. Marshall, and was later renamed as it changed hands. Joeseph S. Wood, John Dykstra, and finally Benson Ford.
Wiki-
The second Great Lakes freighter built by Defoe was the 644′ long S/S Richard M. Marshall (Defoe hull #00424) which was constructed in 1953 for the Great Lakes Steamship Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. She was a near twin to her predecessor (Charles L. Hutchinson) in size and capacity both having approximate dimensions of 640′ long, 67′ wide, 35′ deep, and a cargo capacity of approximately 18,500 tons. In December, 1956, Great Lakes Steamship started the process of selling off their fleet, and the Marshall was sold to The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Starting with the 1957 season, Northwestern Mutual chartered the ship to the Wilson Marine Transit Company of Cleveland, Ohio, who in turn renamed the vessel Joseph S. Wood. In 1966, the charter agreement between Wilson and Northwestern Mutual was canceled, and the vessel was sold to the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan, for $4.3 million (US). Ford renamed the ship John Dykstra and she resumed trading on the Great Lakes on May 11, 1966. In 1983, Ford renamed the ship Benson Ford (2) after the retirement of the original S/S Benson Ford.

Comment by Chris

[...] The idea of living on a houseboat, docked in a harbor, has great appeal for some.  The idea of taking a boat out of the water and creating a residence on dry land with it is more novel.  An Ohio couple did just that, when they salvaged the quarters of the Benson Ford, a ship once owned by Henry Ford and used to transport iron ore across the Great Lakes. The ship’s interior had beautiful walnut paneled staterooms, a dining room and galley.  Recognizing the value of the architectural details, they removed the cabin from the rest of the ship, floated it to a lot on an island and converted it into private residence.  source [...]

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[...] Bass Island, Put-In-Bay, Ohio, North of Sandusky on Lake Erie. You can read the story of how the pilot house was saved and moved in 1986 when it was slated to be scraped in Cleveland, [...]

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[...] Ohio couple. They placed the rescued quarters on a picturesque home lot, transforming them into The Ship Residence. The Ship [...]

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[...] via: strangebuildings.com, sea-fever.org, [...]

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a strange and amazing residence, i d love to do a little detour when i shall travel to Ohio next summer

Comment by Headlight Converters

[...] Text source Image source 1 Image source 2 [...]

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Noah would have felt right at home there. Don’t know about his menagerie.

Comment by Barista Uno

Hi Peter- I happen to come upon this from another link. Boy this brings back memories. When I lived/sailed in Cleveland, Lydia Sullivan was a very good friend of one of the guys I sailed with. During the late 80s, early 90s we would go up and have “freighter parties” at the house. They were some fun parties with the Hat Trick crew!

Comment by Alex Pline

Alex Pline, TA 1980

Comment by Alex Pline

[...] (image via: sea-fever.org, MR38) [...]

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[...] and tires work especially well when built into the earth as earthships often are.Ships(image via: sea-fever.org, MR38)Boats aren’t just for the water – as proven by numerous ‘house boats’ seemingly [...]

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We just happened to be there boating and watched cranes and moving company place it in its current location. What an awesome home!

Comment by Bud Eastridge

I remember seeing your boat as we boated the great lakes 30 years ago.

We will be visiting Put in Bay in Ausust and would love to see it again.

Comment by Pat Dorsey

[...] The amazing boat shown above was originally built by Henry Ford and was only decommissioned after a half-century of use in the late 1900s. The front part in particular contained the state and dining rooms as well as a galley and passenger lounge – all elegantly designed by Ford himself (and for himself). What better basis for creating an amazing residence? After separating the forward section of the abandoned ship from the rest of the hull the couple had this portion floated by barge to South Bass Island and turned into a home. [...]

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Breathtaking. So beautiful. Enjoyed it more than words can say. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Trudy

Comment by Trudy Lisiewicz

[...] The Ship Residence – High upon a promontory on South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, sits the Owners and Captains Quarters of the former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, The Benson Ford. The boat was built by Henry Ford and named after his grandson many years ago. After fifty years of service on the Great Lakes, the Benson Ford was scheduled in 1986 to be scrapped at the Port of Cleveland, Ohio. On the top front section of the boat were the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own pleasure while traversing the Great Lakes on business. (Source: Sea-Fever) [...]

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[...] What a ship designed for your personnel use? Perfect for landlubbers is Lake Erie’s Ship Residence: LINK [...]

Pingback by Elements Of Cruise Ship Design | gCaptain.com

This is where I pictured you living. No? ;-)

Comment by Peter A. Mello

Not as grand… but here are some neat houses near my former residence in S Cali

http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv6215.php

Comment by John

It is very cool. Still remember the first time I saw it in ’88.

Comment by Richard Rodriguez




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