This Ugly AF Boat In Sacramento Used To Be Beautiful And Famous

June 25, 2020

EFA2015/Getty Images


Slumped along the banks of the Sacramento River is an ugly, abandoned river boat that is actually quite famous. 

According to Atlas Obscura, the "Spirit of Sacramento" has had various names throughout the decades since it was first built in 1942 as an Army Corps of Engineer snagboat named "Putah," operating until 1954. Putah was then bought by John Wayne and appeared in his 1955 film Blood Alley starring himself and Lauren Bacall. 

Spirit of Sacramento #todolist #afterquarantine #roadtrip #sacramento #california #spiritofsacramento #ruins #abandoned #abandonedplaces #fotospotapp - -- Joshua Noland - more in app and at

A post shared by Fotospot (@fotospotapp) on

On a birding adventure with my dad we discovered this abandoned riverboat! Apparently it was once owned by John Wayne, and was used as a location for the 1955 film Blood Alley, starring him and Lauren Bacall. Wish I could buy it and restore it! #paddleboat #riverboat #shipwreck #snagboat #spiritofsacramento #johnwayne #sacramentoriver #sacramentodelta #itsabandoned #abandonedplaces #abandonedboat #gardenhighway #sacramento #california #wildcalifornia #sacmag #krca #abc7eyewitness #canon80d #canonfanphoto #teamcanon #sacramentohistory #hollywoodhistory #bloodalley #sacramentohistoricalsociety #preservationsac

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ TINA TREGLIA (@ttregs) on

It was later renamed the "Mansion Belle" by a new owner, and went through another name change in the early 1990s. Eventually it got its current name, Spirit of Sacramento. 

Spirit offered dinner cruises along the river until a fire took over, damaging the boat beyond its former glory. 

Although it was repaired as much as possible, Spirit could no longer offer its services to the people of Sacramento and became half-submerged beneath water. Concerned that it would float away, some very kind people decided to bring Spirit ashore where she sits abandoned today, trashed with grafitti and looking very, very sad. 

The owners of a historic riverboat named Spirit of Sacramento are nowhere to be found after it capsized in the Delta, and spilled fuel into the water over the weekend. The people on the riverboat told locals they bought it from an auction for $1,000. A salvage company is working to the remove the wreckage, an operation that could cost taxpayers as much as $100,000. Tap the link in our profile to read the full story. #SpiritOfSacramento #Riverboat #HistoricRiverboat #Capsized #USCoastGuard #HistoricBoats #Boats #ABC7News

A post shared by @ abc7newsbayarea on

You can still view the boat from afar (it's on private property) at 10000 Garden Hwy. Atlas Obscura has some driving directions, which you can find here

Have you visited the Spirit of Sacramento a.k.a. Mansion Belle? Is it actually worth checking out? At this point, I haven't personally visited but I find the story behind it interesting.