USS Puritan (ID-2222)
USS Puritan, a civilian transport built by Craig Shipbuilding Company in Toledo, Ohio, was launched in 1901, and lengthened by 26 ft (7.9 m) in 1908. The ship sailed on the Great Lakes in passenger service, was purchased by the U.S. Navy at the end of the war, and returned to passenger service after the war. The ship sank in 1933 near Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and its wreck is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
SS Puritan prior to World War I
|Acquired:||April 1918 (U.S. Navy)|
|Commissioned:||20 November 1918|
|Renamed:||George M. Cox|
|Beam:||40.5 ft (12.3 m)|
|Speed:||15.6 knots (28.9 km/h; 18.0 mph)|
GEORGE M. COX
Diving the wreckage
|Location||Near Rock of Ages Light, Isle Royale National Park Michigan|
|Area||206.6 acres (83.6 ha)|
|MPS||Shipwrecks of Isle Royale National Park TR|
|NRHP reference #||84001749|
|Added to NRHP||14 June 1984|
Civilian service prior to World War I
Puritan was purchased by the U.S. Navy during World War I in April 1918 and commissioned on 20 November 1918. Although she was suitable for coastal transport in the English Channel, she may have never left the Great Lakes in naval service. Puritan was decommissioned in 1919 and sold to a firm in Chicago.
Civilian service after World War I
She went back into passenger service from Chicago to other ports on the Great Lakes from 1920 to 1929. At the start of the Great Depression, she was laid up.
George M. Cox
Puritan was purchased in the 1930s by George Cox, who was an entrepreneur from New Orleans, and refitted in an elegant manner. In 1933 the ship was renamed George M. Cox. On her first cruise with a contingent of special guests, she struck the shoals near the Rock of Ages Light in fog on 27 May 1933. The 127 passengers and crew were rescued and spent the night in the crowded lighthouse and on the surrounding rocks. The ship was not salvageable and remained on the rocks until it was broken up in an October storm. It sank near the wrecks of Cumberland and Henry Chisholm. The wreck sits in 10–100 feet (3.0–30.5 m) of water and is a popular dive site. Approximately 65 dives were made to George M. Cox in 2009 out of 1,062 dives made to wrecks in the Isle Royale National Park.
National Register of Historic Places
The wreck of George M. Cox was named to the National Register of Historic Places on 14 June 1984, No. 84001749. It is discussed along with other nearby wrecks in Shipwrecks of Isle Royale National Park, TR
- The wreck is listed as "address restricted", but Isle Royale National Park permits public dives and publushes the location of the wreck. Coordinate location is per "The Wrecks of Isle Royale". Black Dog Diving. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 9 July 2010.
- "Scuba Diving". Isle Royale National Park, National Park Service. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- "Rock of Ages Light Station" (PDF). The Keeper's Log. U.S. Lighthouse Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- Pete Sweger (2010), "A Diver's Experience" (PDF), The Greenstone 2010, p. 9
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 15 April 2008.
- Shipwrecks of Isle Royale National Park TR
- Daniel J. Lenihan (1994), Shipwrecks of Isle Royale National Park: The Archeological Survey, Lake Superior Port Cities, ISBN 0-942235-18-5, archived from the original on 25 November 2010
- Daniel Lenihan; Toni Carrell; Thom Holden; C. Patrick Labadie; Larry Murphy; Ken Vrana (1987), Daniel Lenihan (ed.), Submerged Cultural Resources Study: Isle Royale National Park (PDF), Southwest Cultural Resources Center
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