The Owner-Builder Network

Benson Ford Shiphouse

South Bass Island, Ohio – Ship on the Bay

Usable area:     7,000 sq ft  (648 m2)
Year built:     1924
Year landlubbered:     1986

Imagine your home starting life as a 612′ long behemoth with a 3,000 horsepower motor! The Benson Ford, vacation home of the Kasper family did. It was the ‘pride of fleet’ ore carrier for the Ford Motor Company!

Sister ship - Henry Ford II
Sister ship – Henry Ford II

Built to transport iron ore, coal and related materials across the Great Lakes for the growing auto company’s furnaces, the ship was built by Great Lakes Engineering, Ecorse, Mich., and was launched April 26, 1924.

Decommissioned in 1981, the entire forward superstructure of the boat, including the forecastle deck, was separated and removed in July, 1986. Transported by barge to South Bass Island, the 62’ X 59’ foot section became a 7,000 square foot, four story, summer home for the then owner and his family. The home included the walnut panelled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own pleasure while traversing the Great Lakes on business.

The home has to be the ultimate sea voyage for those who suffer from motion sickness – all the views and ambience with none of the rocking 🙂

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Don’t like ships? Perhaps you’d be happier with other unusual homes…


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