DETROIT (WWJ) – Fans of the old Boblo Boat the S S Columbia will be cruising the Detroit River Sunday to raise money to restore the ship to its former glory.

Richard Anderson is president of the S S Columbia Project and says the boat was even more grande than many people who took it to Bois Blanc Island (Boblo) remember.

“The five-story high super structure, that’s the wooden structure on top of the wood hull, has been seriously damaged, by years and years of neglect – there is a lot of carpentry work to be done,” Anderson said.

He says in addition to the obvious attention to esthetics needed – the ship most likely needs a new boiler as well.

The boat  was built in 1902 and it spent all but 20 of those years ferrying passengers to the old Boblo island.

” When they were built at the turn of the century they were filled with stained glass and gilded moldings and it was spectacular in their architecture. But as with many great Victorian structures as the century went on they were progressively modernized and stripped down, and all of those beautiful ceiling murals were painted over,” said Anderson.

The group needs $13 million to restore the Columbia and take it to the Hudson River.

The cruise Sunday is $40 and leaves Wyandotte’s Portofino Restaurant at 2 p.m.

Get more cruise details HERE.


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