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Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts in the Midwest have been startled by the appearance of a ghostly ship that is abandoned and rusting in a tiny creek in the backwoods of Kentucky. This ship, which is located in thick forest 25 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio, is nearly hidden behind old trees, weeds, driftwood and large reeds. But if you are hiking through the forest and paddle up the creek, there she is: the Celt, also known as the USS Phenakite, also known as the USS Sachem, also known as the Sightseer, also known as the Circle Line V.

The Luxury Yacht Celt

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This mysterious ship began its life as a yacht called the Celt, which was built for J. Rogers Maxwell in 1902. Maxwell was a wealthy railroad executive from New Jersey. Maxwell and his son, J. Rogers Jr., were heavily involved in the yacht racing of the era.

The Celt was 128-feet long and powered by steam. It had a top speed of 13 knots, and was capable of hauling up to 217 tons GRT. It was built by the Pusey and Jones Co., from Wilmington, Delaware, which was one of the major shipbuilders in America until 1959. J. Rogers’ Maxwell’s greatest claim to fame was winning the 1907 King’s Cup race with one of his other yachts, defeating the legendary Commodore Vanderbilt to take the prize.



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