East Texans want mystery boat left alone

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An abandoned boat, resting on rusted barrels is becoming quite the talk around Lufkin.

"Everyone's seen it," said Kelly Klaes of Lufkin. "There's not one person in Lufkin who can say they haven't driven by it and had one thought about it or conversation about it at all."

There's no conclusive answer as to where the boat came from or how many years it's sat on the land next to Jack In The Box.

"Nobody knows," Klaes said. "I mean there's speculations, people have thought about it."

However,Lufkinites are saying it's a local landmark.

"I don't really know why this boat, but it's just the fact that it's been there so long," said Cady Strange of Lufkin. "And, it has no history behind it, like it's a mystery boat. It seems cool."

Currently, the boat rests where the new Denny's restaurant is supposed to be constructed by year's end.

Now that trees are cleared, the boat is more visible and East Texans want it to stay.

"Charlie's Truck Stop, they tore that down," Klaes said. "The train tracks are being taken away slowly but surely, the paper mill and everything. A boat is such a small thing, but it's been here almost as long as most of those things, if not longer."

Lufkinites are afraid the land owners are going to remove the boat from its post in the near future, so they're taking matters into their own hands.

A "Keep the Boat" Facebook page was started last Friday, and already it's gained nearly 1,000 likes.

"Maybe enough people will actually get them to decide that it's going to stay," Klaes said.

Some comments seem to be working.

John Benda, who owns the company responsible for building Denny's, says the page has him considering investing $10,000 to incorporate the boat into a tourist attraction.

"It looked really cool, just sitting up there as an island because it's white against the background," Benda said. "And, that's when we came up with the idea of keeping it."

Benda says his company will make a final decision on the boat's future in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.