Wednesday, May 15, 2024


7:30 p.m.

About this event:

Co-sponsored during Preservation Month by the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

The sixth and last lecture of the season, presented by former Grosse Pointer Gregory Rudnick, who served aboard both vessels, The Centennial of the Motor Vessels Benson Ford and Henry Ford II, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

It will be co-sponsored during Preservation Month with the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and held at their visitor’s center.

The MS Benson Ford and MS Henry Ford II were launched in 1924 and were the first large ships on the Great Lakes powered by diesel engines. Thus, the “MS” (Motor Ship) rather than the “SS” (Steam Ship) designation. Although constructed by different Great Lakes shipyards, these vessels were almost twins, with identical length & beam dimensions and similar carrying capacities/payloads by tonnage.

They were the most modern ships on the Great Lakes a century ago. They included guest staterooms & dining rooms covered with inlaid Mahogany, candle wall sconces & chandeliers, and other features not often found on Great Lakes craft. The “Benson” and the “Henry” remained in service for more than 50 years and became very familiar to everyone along the Grosse Pointe shoreline.

Presenter: Gregory Rudnick, a former Grosse Pointer, served on both ships during college. He possesses a BA degree from the University of Detroit. Greg is currently on the Detroit Maritime Institute’s (GLMI) quarterly magazine staff and has been a Great Lakes Ship buff for more than half a century.


  • FREE, registration required


Learn more about the Grosse Pointe Historical Society's Dr. Frank Bicknell Lecture Series

In 1987, Dr. Frank Bicknell, a long time Grosse Pointe resident and well-known Detroit Medical Center urologist, celebrated his 80th birthday. His daughter and son-in-law established the Grosse Pointe Historical Society's Bicknell Fund to mark his milestone birthday. This fund established the Dr. Frank Bicknell Lecture Series; all Bicknell Lectures are free of charge and open to everyone.

Ticketing & Admissions Policies

Please read our ticketing & admission policies thoroughly.

Joining has its perks!

Friends of Ford House

An annual Friends of Ford House membership is a great way to enjoy all that Ford House has to offer! Enjoy discounted tickets, pre-sale access, discounts on dining and shopping, exclusive events, and more.

Special Thanks

Ford House is grateful for the generous support of Ford Philanthropy and helping us fulfill our educational mission and making Ford House more accessible to our community.

About Ford House

Ford House is a 501c3 nonprofit and National Historic Landmark. Experience the historic family home of Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry Ford, and his wife, Eleanor. Now a National Historic Landmark, visitors from all over the world come to wander, wonder, and explore the beauty of this 1928 National Historic Landmark and uncover a unique piece of the American automotive story in metro Detroit. Learn more below.