The first voyage of Puritan as the newly appointed George M. Cox was also to be its last. On May 25, 1933 the ship left Chicago bound for Port Arthur to begin its new route in the passenger trade between those two cities. Intermediate stops were planned for Houghton and Isle Royale.
The steamer left Saturday May 27, from Marquette at 2:00 a.m. bound for Houghton with namesake George M. Cox and 124 others aboard (Daily Mining Gazette, May 27, 1933). The captain was George Johnson of Traverse City and the first mate was Arthur Cronk. There was also an eight-piece orchestra aboard ready to join in the festivities anticipated on the maiden voyage (Manistee News Advocate, May 24, 1933).
Cox arrived in Houghton and tied up at the Peninsula dock around noon after its ten hour run. The vessel was opened for inspection and hundreds of local residents toured the finely appointed cruise ship (Daily Mining Gazette, May 28, 1933).
George M. Cox left Saturday afternoon, May 27, 1933, for Isle Royale, but Cox ran hard aground off the west end of Isle Royale sometime before 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening while those on board ate dinner. The steamer Morris S. Tremaine intercepted a wireless SOS message from the stricken ship, and the first word reached Houghton about 8:00 p.m. Word of the disaster was received by Capt. Fred Sollman of the Portage Canal Coast Guard via Ft. William. The Coast Guard left immediately for the wreck site (Daily Mining Gazette, May 28, 1933).
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