Step inside the 100-year-old Milwaukee boathouse

NOW: Step inside the 100-year-old Milwaukee boathouse

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- If you live in Milwaukee or you've spent any time on Milwaukee's east side, you've probably heard of a distinct house that looks like a boat.

It was designed in the early 1920s to look like a ship inside and out. 

"There's a sign, which we don't remove because it's historical, over the sink that says, 'do not drink the water' because that's how it is in boats," said Nola Hitchcock Cross.

But you can drink the water. The boathouse has become an iconic east side location because it sits in a row of duplexes and houses. 

"Other than not getting sea-sick you feel like you're in a boat," said Hitchcock Cross.

As a long-time neighbor, when the home went up for sale, Hitchcock Cross purchased it in order to preserve it. But she also wants people to enjoy it for what it is, a boat. 

"This is the first time," she said. "People have been walking past it since the 20s, and everybody is curious, everybody wants to see it, and nobody's ever been allowed inside because it's always been a private residence." 

For the last two years, people could book a stay at the house through Airbnb. Whether you're a lover of ships or history, a look through one of the 21 port holes will make you're experiencing something unique. 

Hitchcock Cross is working to replace the lighthouse in front of the home with an exact replica of the original lighthouse. 

"Which will cost us twice as much but it's worth it because it has a lot of historical integrity," she said. 

While it is available to book year-round, summertime is a popular time for people to stay. Inside, there's no shortage of captain hats and decor to make you feel like you've set sail.

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