Decrepit boat has a new mission for next generation

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Underneath the chipping paint and decaying wood found in a sitting room for women on the SS Columbia, Lori Feret points out the intricate murals of roses on the ceiling.

"The murals are so beautiful, I don't understand why they covered them with paint," Feret said. "There are so many beautiful areas on this boat."

As a local historian and a board member of the Friends of Belle Isle, Feret has spent years trying to save historical institutions throughout Detroit.

"She's such a piece of history and I hate to see her in this condition," Feret said of the Columbia.

But the Columbia is undergoing a $10 million facelift and soon will leave the Detroit River for a new home in New York.

Feret has organized several fundraising cruises on the Detroit River, where people are recorded sharing their memories. The video is then posted on the SS Columbia Project's Web site.

Click here for the full report with photo album.