The Unique, Interesting Mystery Of Wisconsin’s Abandoned Ghost Ship
There are a lot of unexplained factors when it comes to the history of one ship in Wisconsin.
Shipwrecks along the Mississippi River and waterways in general aren't that uncommon. A ship resting in Prairie du Chien (which is a town of 6,000 people) wouldn't be that outlandish considering where it is. It's near the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers and serves as a gateway between the Mighty Mississippi and the Great Lakes. Part of what makes the history of one shipwreck weird is that it rests on land.
Meet The L. Wade Childress "Ghost Ship"
In a field, near a golf course, sits the L. Wade Childress. According to Only In Your State, it used to be a tugboat on the Mississippi River and was in service for 40 years after being built in 1948. It was tied up during a particularly brutal winter and ice chunks and weather got to it and prompted it to sink on December 12, 1985.
It sank in Fort Madison, Iowa. That's 3 and a half hours away from Prairie du Chien.
It was pulled out of the river in March 1986 and it was converted into a quarterboat. But that's the last factual thing that's known about it. A rumor has circulated for years that the plan was to turn the old tugboat into a bed-and-breakfast. But that clearly hasn't come to fruition.
Now, it's pretty rusted out and looks spooky inside. Pretty much everything is still in place from when it sank, like an intercom, pots and pans, and the bathroom mirrors aren't even cracked. There aren't any 'no trespassing' signs around it so people explore it, like these two men.
It does look pretty out-of-place fully on-land on a country road in Wisconsin.