This 22-foot 1949 Chris Craft Sportsman traveled around Upper and Lower Whitefish Lakes, and Trout Lake, delivering the US mail in the summer months to people who lived on the lakeshore. Pilot Ben Knebel gave resort guests rides for $2.00 per person and also delivered groceries.
Joe Ruttger and Ron Schultz whose parents both owned resorts on the Whitefish Chain and who remember, as children, riding on the US Mailboat with Ben Knebel, set out to find the boat. Joe was able to track the boat down through the MN DNR and found the boat in 1992. It took the two men 13 years to completely restore the boat. About half the original wood remains. The boat is made of mahogany and clear cedar. All the original chrome was restored along with the steering wheel. The cutwater, the forward edge of the boat at and near the waterline is also its original. When Ben Knebel retired from the postal route, his leather postal pouch and flag from the boat were donated to the Crosslake Historic Log Village. The boat is on display with permission from the owners, Joe Ruttger and Ron Schultz.