The "Benson Ford"


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Aug 1, 2008
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canoe & plastic flotsam
The "Benson Ford" originally transported iron and coal for the Ford Motor Company!
The ship was decommissioned in 1981 after nearly 50 years of service.

After being decommissioned it was left to rust for four years before the front
part of the ship was removed and perched on top of the 18-foot
cliff above Lake Erie, to serve as a vacation home.


Looking across the bow, it seems that the boat is actually steaming - full
speed ahead!

The ship still contains the beautiful wood-paneled state rooms, dining
room and lounge designed by Henry Ford.


The boat was used by Henry Ford to travel across the Great Lakes.
Thomas Edison was a frequent guest on this beautiful ship.

The present four-deck ship-house is 7,000 sq. ft. and includes walnut-paneled staterooms, a dining room with galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his personal use while on board. The ship-house was originally owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan auctioned the building to father and son Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time off from work. It has been modernized with a garage, a game room, a bar, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and four bathrooms. The 90-year-old cargo ship is beautiful, as she sits overlooking her former waterways.


Visitors must be okay with heights if they take a tour onto the bow of the boat and see the water so far below.


This ship-home has maintained the historic and beautiful interior, which is
updated with modern amenities.
Bryan Kaspar says: "Everyone who sees our home from the outside, wants to look inside.
I think everyone who sees it is amazed at the gorgeous woodwork throughout our beautiful ship-home."
This impressive getaway includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain's office and living room with panoramic views across Lake Erie.
'I love the deck on the fourth floor. It's a great place to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the lake and the nearby cliffs, and to watch the sunsets is amazing from there.'
Videographer Nick James, who conducts tours of the home, says, 'The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the cliff. It actually feels like you're on the open water.'
I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford. In the parlor, you can imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars.'

When you're there, it feels like you're stepping back in time, and that those two famed gentlemen could appear at any moment.'An incredible beauty of a long-ago ship, still available for water lovers to see.
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