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MS NORGOMA

TURKEY TRAIL

THE SHIP WORKING THE TURKEY TRAIL

Map of the Norgoma Route called the Turkey Trail

Look closely to view the route called the Turkey Trail

Built in 1949 and launched in 1950 in Collingwood, Ontario, the Norgoma was the last passenger vessel constructed on the Great Lakes with overnight accommodations.

Its name meaning 'Nor' which refers to North and 'Goma' which refers to the Algoma District of Ontario. From 1950 to 1963, the vessel made five round trips weekly from Owen Sound to Sault Ste. Marie.

SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE SHIP

The Norgoma entering Kagawong on Manitoulin

 

Click on the Norgoma image to view a movie depicting the history of her trips and other interesting aspects of her life.

THE FACTS

  • The ship is 185 feet long, 36 feet wide on the Main deck and draws 12 feet. 
  • The Norgoma contained sleeping accommodations for 100 people, a dining room that sat 50 people and a galley that could produce 144 meals three times a day.
  • Her cabins, lounges, tuck shop, washrooms and showers all reflect the style of a bygone era.
  • She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine that also powered her car elevator, heated the cabins and the food.
  • The ship’s superstructure, the main deck and Promenade Decks are made of steel but the Boat and Sundecks are made of 2x4 rough-cut tongue and groove wood.
  • The Norgoma was the last of a long line of passenger and freight vessels that were the lifeline of the North Channel communities located on the Turkey Trail.

 

 

  • In 1963 after the Trans Canada Highway was completed, the Norgoma was operated as a car ferry between Tobermory and South Baymouth, until replaced by the Chi-Cheemaun in 1974.
  • In 1963 the steam engine was replaced with an 800 horsepower diesel, which gave a service speed of 13.5 knots.
  • It was relocated to Sault Ste. Marie in 1975 and was converted into a floating museum in 1977.

 

THE CREW

Stewardess

 

The crew varied but at peak was around 40. Originally accommodation for most of the crew was on he Main Deck.

 

There were three cabins in the aft section for 3 Firemen and 3 Oiler two cabins midship for the Chief and 2nd Engineers.

 

Four cabins in the forward section for 6 waiters, 6 porters, 9 deck hands plus spares.

 

Captain

Othe Bridge deck there were cabins for the Captain, 1st Mate, 3 wheelhouse men, the 2nd Mate and the bosun.

Six other crew cabins were on the B (Promenade) deck. These were for the Purser, the Steward, the 3rd Mate, two stewardesses and 4 cooks.

Crew Dining Room

Crew's dining Area

 

The crew had a small mess (dining area) located behind the galley. The aft section of this deck was also restricted for crew only and allowed them access to all decks.

When the ship was refitted as a car ferry, all the cabins on the main deck, between the fore and aft winches, were removed and the crew members were provided cabins in the renovated aft section of the Boat deck.

 

View the renovations

 

Back to history page

 

Launch Day