Waterside Home Takes on All Weather

By Christina Birchfield | 1/10/2014

Wonder how many waterside homes are land-based but might just be able to really survive bad weather?


The front end of a 90-year-old cargo ship, The Benson Ford, was long ago recycled to become a vacation home dry-docked (so to speak) on an 18-foot cliff overlooking Lake Erie.

The Sullivans, who installed it on the cliff five years after it was decommissioned in 1981, were of the “it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission” school. On July 3, 1986, the forward superstructure including the forecastle was barged to the site. The owners scrapped the rest of the ship.They pulled the 7,000-square-foot ship/building up the cliff and positioned the structure on bedrock.

Though the ship’s passengers included owner Henry Ford and Thomas Edison (who traveled in what some describe as a man cave), the ship’s primary original purpose was transporting iron and coal across the Great Lakes to feed Ford’s auto manufacturing industry.

Many of the home’s rooms are still sheathed in the original black walnut paneling.After remodeling, the home includes a garage, family room, five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, living, reading and dining rooms as well as the galley (kitchen). The ship decks make for fabulous outdoor entertaining space and spectacular sunsets off the western shores of Put-in-Bay.”

The UK’s Daily Mail features the ship home complete with pictures and video. It also has been featured on HGTV’s “Extreme Homes.”

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