The Ship Residence sits on South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Its based on what is left of the former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, The Benson Ford. The boat was built by Henry Ford (of Ford Motors and the Model T) and named after his grandson. After 50 years of service on the Great Lakes, the Benson Ford was scheduled in 1986 to be scrapped. This is when an Ohio couple stepped in and the captain’s quarters of the Benson Ford became The Ship Residence, a private home on South Bass Island.
The front section of the Benson Ford is where the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge were located. These elegant quarters were removed from the rest of the ship and brought to land to make up the magnificent Ship Residence.