The interior was designed by Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison was a passenger.
The ship was decommissioned in 1981 after nearly 50 years of service.
The ship's forecastle was removed, and positioned on a great piece of waterfront property, with its bow extending out over Lake Erie for a water-going effect, and then used by its owner as a vacation home.
From the time it was built in 1924, the boat was also used to transport coal and iron ore across the American lakes. After being decommissioned in 1981 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 shown below to serve as a really lovely home.
The "Benson Ford" was originally a cargo ship for the Ford motor company, but has been converted into a vacation home perched solidly above Lake Erie. Looking across the bow, which hangs 18 feet above the Lake, it gives one the feeling that the boat is sailing.
The ship still contains the beautiful wood-paneled state rooms, dining room and lounge designed by Henry Ford.
The boat was used by Ford himself to travel across the American Lakes, and Thomas Edison was a guest on this beautiful boat.
The four-deck, 7,000 square foot "getaway home" is made out of the ship's forecastle, and includes the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own personal use while on board.
The ship-house was originally owned by Frank J. Sullivan, but after trying and failing to turn it into a hotel in 1992, Sullivan eventually auctioned the building to father and son, Jerry and Bryan Kaspar, who still enjoy relaxing there while taking time off from work. It has now 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 there looking out over her former waterways.
Don't look down -- visitors may need a head for heights if they take a tour out onto the bow of the boat, and see the water way down below.
The four-story, 7,000 sq ft home has maintained the historic and beautiful interior, which has been updated with modern technologies.
Bryan Kaspar said, 'Everyone who sees our home from the outside, is intrigued to look inside. And, I think everyone who sees this beauty, is amazed at the gorgeous woodwork throughout our beautiful ship home.
This impressive getaway is large, as it includes five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a captain's office and living room with panoramic views out 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, said, 'The most incredible part is standing at the helm with the way the boat hangs over the cliff. It actually feels like you are out on the open water.' I love the history that remains all around the Benson Ford. In the parlor, you can just imagine Thomas Edison and Henry Ford sitting there puffing on their cigars.'
When you're there, it feels as though you are 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.