There is no other home in the world with a view quite like this one hanging over Lake Erie. The enormous boat was once a cargo ship that carried well-known people such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison to their destinations in style. However, its main purpose was to transport coal and iron ore around the Great Lakes for the Ford Motor company.
The Benson Ford was built in 1924 and served its purpose until it was decommissioned in 1981. For a while it sat, derelict and rusting. Then, in 1986, it was purchased and its forecastle was cut off and installed on a cliff overlooking Lake Erie.
The ship’s original buyer wanted to turn the Benson Ford into a hotel, but the local government blocked his move. The ship was then sold in 1999 to a father and son who use the structure as a holiday getaway. They also allow guided tours through the majestic ship.
The ship’s gorgeous interior has been restored to its original glory. Deep, rich wood panels give the home a very stately feel. Modern conveniences and fixtures have been installed, but otherwise the ship remains very similar to how it would have looked in its glory days.
Five bedrooms grace the four-story home, along with four bathrooms, state rooms, a captain’s office and numerous other luxurious chambers. The deck of the ship juts out 18 feet above the lake, making for a beautiful (if somewhat scary) view from the bow.
From the pilot house, you can pretend to steer the ship with its original wheel. In fact, all of the equipment in the pilot house was left intact, giving visitors a feeling of stepping back in time. Thanks to the boat’s position, it really does seem like you are piloting the boat from this vantage point.