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MS NORGOMA

The Norgoma's History

 

THE EARLY SETTLERS AT SAULT STE. MARIE AND ALONG THE NORTH SHORE OF LAKE HURON WERE DEPENDENT ON THE REGULAR VISITS OF THE NORGOMA AND HER PREDECESSORS. PADDLE, SAIL, STEAM AND DIESEL POWER ALL SERVED IN THEIR DAY.

 

The MS Norgoma, now docked in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is dedicated to preserving the area's rich marine heritage. 

 

The Norgoma Arriving in Owen Sound on Launch Day

The Norgoma Arriving at Owen Sound May 1, 1950

When the Norgoma first sailed into her home port of Owen Sound on May 1, 1950, flags were flying and hundreds lined the docks to greet the new package freighter. The City's Mayor, Eddie Sargent, City officials and the Owen Sound Band were on hand.

Captain Morrison

 

In command of the Norgoma was Captain Robert Morrison who had been master of the Manitoulin since 1938. Morrison had his start on the Great Lakes in 1919 as wheelsman on the Manitou. He would remain with the Norgoma until his retirement in 1972. A complete crew list for the Norgoma's maiden voyage reveals that it carried a working team of 26. Nearly all of the crew listed a Grey or Bruce County address with representation from Owen Sound and Wiarton leading the way.

Her name "Norgoma" was taken from the prefix “Nor” used by the Owen Sound Transportation Company for ships of her fleet. The prefix was coupled with “Goma”, which refers to the Algoma District of Ontario.

 

Prior to 1963 there was not a completed highway system that connected eastern Ontario to western Ontario. From 1950 to 1963, the vessel was the primary means of transportation between Owen Sound and Sault Ste Marie and made a 5 day round trip every week. The Norgoma was the last of her kind, the sole survivor of hundreds of package freighters who, over a century, had served the needs of a far-flung population.

 

THE NORGOMA PLAYED MANY ROLES  DURING HER LIFETIME.

THESE INCLUDE:

  • a freighter carrying cargo from Owen Sound to Sault Ste. Marie, making many stops along the way
  • a cruise ship
  • a ferry between South BayMouth on Manitoulin Ave. and Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula
  • Now a museum ship in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

​The water route from Owen Sound to the Sault became known locally as the Turkey Trail.

IMPORTANT: FOLLOW THE LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE  WHICH BEGIN WITH NEXT:TO GET THE WHOLE HISTORY OF THE NORGOMA!

Next:Read all about the Turkey Trail

 

 

 

 

 

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