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THE MUSEUM SHIP NORGOMA

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FREIGHT/CARGO

 

IT TOOK TIME TO LOAD AND UNLOAD FREIGHT AT EACH STOP ALONG THE TURKEY TRAIL. THE PURSER WOULD GO ASHORE, SET UP A SMALL TABLE ON THE DOCK, AND KEEP TRACK OF THE FREIGHT,AS IT WAS OFF-LOADED.

Passengers waiting at Kagawong as boat is being unloaded

 

During this time, the ship’s passengers could stretch their legs, or stay on board and watch as barrels and boxes, cows, horses, crates of chickens and automobiles were disgorged from the Norgoma’s spacious hold. On the last trip of the season, in mid-to-late November, the Norgoma would be heavily loaded with supplies to last through the long winter.

The Norgoma carried:

14,000 tons of freight in 1951. By 1963 the Norgoma’s last year as a cargo ship, the freight had dropped dramatically. On one of the final trips, the freight consisted of a single roll of garden hose.

Norgoma's Cargo

The cargo included everything people needed for everyday life.

The cargo included:

  •  food, fresh vegetables, soft drinks in wooden cases, fruits, flour, salt, sugar

Image of a variety of vegetables

  • hardware, farm implements, building supplies
  • fuel, coal, kerosene, and gasoline and
  • cars that were lowered into the ship's hold by means of an elevator - everything one could get on a shopping trip in the big cities to the south.
  • The hold was filled with drums, barrels, sacks, wooden boxes, cardboard boxes, kegs and cages.
  • Livestock was a major cargo. As many as 100 cattle might be carried to livestock sales at Little Current.

Image of a pat of butter on a corn cob

  • A case of butter was unloaded at Killarney general store

Furnished room

  • a horse-drawn hay rake and a complete set of household furnishings, including the stove, was carried from Cockburn Island to Thessalon
  • a large number of new fish boxes were loaded at Gore Bay for delivery to Owen Sound, according to James Berry.

Return trips cargo included:

Image of two fish often a cargo item

  • fresh lake trout and whitefish packed in crushed ice, 100 pounds of fish to each wooden box.

Image of a house being built and lumber piled in front

  • Also southbound from Sault Ste. Marie would be consignments of livestock, lumber, farm produce and additional loads of fish picked up at ports on Manitoulin Island and at Killarney.

Images of cows often cargo for the Norgoma

  • Life stock was a major cargo. It was not unusual every autumn to load up to a hundred cattle at Meldrum Bay or Gore Bay for delivery to the regular cattle sales at Little Current or ports beyond. Manitoulin Island was also, for a period of time following World War II, an exporter of turkeys, hence the name Turkey Trail.

 

 

Cruises were introduced to the Norgoma when there was no more need for delivering cargo.

 

 Next a typical Cruise on the Norgoma

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Passengers beside the Norgoma Docked

Passengers stretching their legs while cargo is dealt with.