Blog Article

Bob the Boat Builder Donates 200 Year Old Boat with a Bit of Interesting History

Bob the Boat Builder is making quite a name for himself these days! The American House resident has a story or two that would pique your interest — including the one about his recent auction donation of a 213-year-old boat that was the inspiration for another famous ship: The USS Enterprise, from television’s Star Trek.bobs 213 year old boat

Bob the Boat Builder, a 95-year-old American House Riverview resident, went above and beyond the call of duty when he donated an old ship to be auctioned off at the Henry Ford Health Systems Cottage Campus’ annual Clambake fundraiser. The fundraiser raises money for that campus in Grosse Pointe and Bob was thrilled to be able to make such an interesting donation.

The highest bidder, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident named Kathleen, also received a handwritten letter from Bob the Boat Builder when she took possession of her prize. In the letter, Bob made suggestions on how to restore the old boat — named the Enterprise — and also included a bit of history.

“The ship was built in the U.S.A. in 1799 at a shipyard near Boston, and took 2 years to build,” Bob wrote in his letter. “It was assigned to the Navy department to fight pirates from 1801-1815; from 1817-1823 it served in the West Indies until its good fortune ran out as she floundered…”

And, according to Bob, the great-grandfather of the director of Star Trek was actually aboard the Enterprise many years ago!

“That was why in the TV (show) his ship was called the Enterprise,” Bob wrote in his letter.

The winner of the boat, upon reading the letter, decided to take Bob up on his offer of a phone call. The two chatted on the phone for a half hour and Kathleen informed Bob that she had hosted a ladies’ lunch over the weekend and the boat was “all the talk” of her guests!

Jill Harrison, Riverview’s executive director, said Bob was thrilled his daughter was able to attend the Clambake and he felt the event had a great turnout. “Well, I think that it was a success, Boss,” he told her.

At American House, we recognize that all of our residents are truly unique and they each have special talents and bits of information – and history — to share. Check out our blog to read more! Visit us online at or give us a call at (248) 579-4422 to talk about what we have to offer residents in our senior living communities!

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