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THE MUSEUM SHIP NORGOMA

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THE NORGOMA WORKING AS A CAR FERRY

 

The last run of the S.S. Norgoma as a steamship on the Turkey Trail from Owen Sound to the Soo took place on September 12, 1963.  The CPR railroad, new highways and bridges, bus service to the north shore and the rise of the trucking industry had eliminated the need for the steamers services.

Car boarding the Norgoma Ferry

Norgoma working as a Car Ferry

 

When purchased by Ontario Northland the Norgoma was renovated to operate as a car ferry between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. Her steam engine and boiler were replaced with an 800 horsepower diesel engine, which gave her a service speed of 13.5 knots. One of the stairwells and crew cabins on the main deck were removed to allow her to carry twenty-five cars on the main deck and a dozen on the lower deck. Along with her sister ship, the Norisle, the M.S. Norgoma (motor ship) ran twice daily on the ferry run from Tobermory to South Bay Mouth from 1964 to 1974. When they could no longer keep up with the traffic, they were retired to make way for the Chi-Chee-maun, with a capacity of 140 vehicles.

THE NEED FOR THE NORGOMA DECLINES

After World War II, shipping went into decline on the Upper Great Lakes.

The CPR railroad, improved roads, a car bridge to Manitoulin Island, bus service to the north shore and the rise of the trucking industry eliminated the need for steamer service.

The fishing industry also slowed down in the mid-1900's reducing one important type of return cargo.

While commercial shipping declined, cruise ships traveled along the Turkey Trail until 1967, when the Norgoma quit running.

 

 

It was relocated to Sault Ste. Marie in 1975 and was converted into a floating museum in 1977.

This ends the History aspect. 

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