When I first learned about this story, I wasn't sure it was true. I saw some gorgeous pictures on Facebook that someone had taken and thought "Surely that is AI." A ghost ship that looked like that in...Kentucky? But, then I thought about the fact that our great state has all kinds of bizarre history and crazier things have definitely happened! Like the Kentucky Meat Shower.

The Many Lives of The Kentucky Ghost Ship

Seeing this rusted and decaying vessel, it's easy to speculate what kind of interesting past she had before ending up abandoned in the shallow waters of Boone County, Kentucky. This "ghost ship" was first built in 1901 as a luxury steam yacht The Celt white and pristine for passengers with "top of the line everything."

Kentucky Ghost Ship In the Navy

Then it was metal-plated and commissioned as a warship for WW1 and WW2. Renamed USS Sachem SP 192.  During this time, Thomas Edison turned her into a laboratory for inventions that could be useful to the Navy.

Finally decommissioned in 1945, the ship was purchased by Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises of New York to be used as a tour boat.  Modified to fit more passengers, hundreds of people boarded the two decks to circle Manhattan and learn about the Big Apple each day.

Kentucky Ghost Ship a Music Video Star

In the Spring of 1986, Robert "Butch" Miller purchased The Sachem and began repairs at the Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne, New Jersey.  The story goes that some fancy schmancy person in a limousine pulled up to the dock and told Butch they were a representative for pop superstar, Madonna.  They told him they were recording Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" music video and wanted permission to film with the Sachem in the shot.

USS Sachem Journey to Kentucky

After suffering from vandals, Miller was determined to relocate the ship to Kentucky and the Cincinnati area. He followed a path known as The Great Loop until settling in a small tributary of the Ohio River in Boone County. Miller had intentions of restoring her to her former glory, but waters receded over time and other factors led to a lack of funds necessary for fixing up this incredible vessel.

She sits on private property unfortunately falling victim to the elements. It's crazy to think that this creepy-looking ship that looks haunted was once such a popular and respected part of American history. The footage below shows her in all her glory through the years.

To learn more: Kentucky Livinghttps://uss-sachem.org/history

WBKR-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

I'm A Kentuckian, Of Course...

Not all stereotypes are true, but some cannot be denied. I'm a Kentuckian, of course, I'm proud to be from the Bluegrass State.

Gallery Credit: Mary-Katherine Maddox

More From WBKR-FM