The Cincinnati Ghost Ship

First, listen to this to truly grasp what this place feels like.

Where do I even start with this? This amazing adventure was much needed for me in a raw, knock me on my butt sorta way. To breathe the air in this magical forest, we had to hike through plants as tall as us, break through spiderwebs (teeming with spiders might I add!), get our shoes wet and muddy, sweat out half our body weight from the humidity, and fight any tiredness our bodies felt. But to locate and tell the story of something long forgotten made this entire journey worth it.IMG_7011A few weeks ago I told my dad I needed a father-daughter day badly. I’ve always been extremely close to my dad and the older I get, the more I want to make sure that always remains no matter how busy life gets. I would have been happy to do anything with him. Absolutely anything. But he put some thought into it, did some research, and came up with an idea to do together that I couldn’t resist. The stars aligned perfectly to allow us to both be off work and go out together without any previous arrangements. The spontaneity made it even better.

So as we began our trek towards the woods of Kentucky, studying topographic maps in the car while the GPS politely guided us with directions to the woods, my dad exploded into his traditional story mode which upgraded this little outting of ours to the entry levels of Uncharted or Tomb Raider. I couldn’t help but feel like a little kid all over again.IMG_7006My dad told me we were headed to Kentucky to try and locate the Ghost Ship of Cincinnati. I had heard about it about a year ago when I came across a blog post done by Queen City Discovery. I saved it on my Adventure To-Do List in the back of my mind for when an opportunity would arise so I could share it with someone just as passionate about it as I was. So when he told me about it, I was instantly excited! What I didn’t really grasp and realize though was the incredible history behind it.IMG_7024Built in 1902 originally as a luxury yacht, it was passed through the years becoming war vessels for the U.S. military in BOTH world wars. Thomas Edison used the vessel for a time to conduct experiments around New York Harbor before eventually sailing it to Key West, Florida and the Caribbean. An incredible, real-life adventurer, sailor, and fisherman named Captain Jake Martin used it as a transport vessel for people during the Great Depression. After the wars, it became a sight seeing cruise liner for the city of New York and was even featured in a Madonna music video from her single “Papa Don’t Preach”. And over the years it was named a few different things from the Celt, USS Sachem, USS Phenakite, and the Sightseer. Looks like we stumbled across a real life Indiana Jones story. IMG_7039There are so many incredible things about this amazing ship that I could do the entire post about it alone. See the entire history laid out in full detail on Queen City Discovery or read my dad’s own article with more photos and videos featured from our adventure from his point of view here.IMG_6972IMG_6977Needless to say, this incredible piece of history belongs in a museum. Truly. It would need a LOT of work and effort getting it resurrected from its pending doom but I do not believe its impossible. With the right will, talent, and efforts involved, this piece of history could be restored and settled in a beautiful way instead of seeing the tragedy that it is currently facing. IMG_6953IMG_6992IMG_6999 IMG_6994 IMG_6990 IMG_6961IMG_7000After 110 years of history, thousands of miles traveled through multiple cities, the entire east coast of the US & the Caribbean, it’s amazing to me that it’s final resting place is in a little creek just on the outside of Cincinnati. It housed countless passengers through the most testing eras of our human history and the ship itself has become a symbol of our own human legacy. It’s final resting place rotting away in this little creek just doesn’t seem right to me and I hope that someday, this amazing piece of history gets the recognition it deserves. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
And to close this out completely, check out the video I made from this little adventure of ours :)

The Cincinnati Ghost Ship from Brooke Townsend on Vimeo.

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6 thoughts on “The Cincinnati Ghost Ship

  1. Thank you for the great pics and video of the ship. You do great work, It was my son and I that ran into you and your dad at the ship that day. Watching your video it looks like we even crossed the same bridge over the Ohio river to get there. Thanks for sharing the ship with us.

  2. Pingback: A Temple of Hope: The Ghost Ship photographic journey | Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

  3. Some of my friends say even more fragile ships have been rescued. If the hull is still tight cover the top to keep the rain and snow out. Pump out the i nside. Dredge on both sides but not underneath and the silt will fall away.underneath and free it. Then get drydock or ashore for repairs. I am not myself an expert.

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