The vessel, built in 1872 as the Peerless, was a steam powered double boiler, single screw passenger freighter. She was reported to have been one of the finest Great Lakes passenger vessels during her time and was intiially utilized for service from Chicago to Lake Superior. However, as with many vessels, the Peerless was eventually sold, converted to a sand sucker, and renamed as the Muskegon in 1908. She burned in October of 1910 while at dock in Michigan City Harbor. Although some of her machinery and rigging components were salvaged, the Muskegon was raised, towed out of harbor and abandoned as a derelict on June 10, 1911. Many of the salvaged components were outfitted by the Independent Sand and Gravel Company for use on her replacement vessel, the J.D. Marshall. The Muskegon (Peerless) has recognized historical significance demonstrated by the shipwreck's acceptance to the National Register of Historic Places.