The wooden steamer Eugene C. Hart
was built in 1890 as a package freighter by Henry and G.B. Burger in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her official registry number was 136131. She served the Hart Shipping Line until 1917 when she was sold and sent to the east coast during World War I. In 1919 she was renamed the Norlond
and in the spring of 1922 returned to the Great Lakes working the package freight trade between Chicago and Milwaukee. Over her lifetime she had been owned by at least seven different owners.
April 1893: Lengthened at Milwaukee.
August 1901: Broke propeller shaft on the Soo River and towed by the tug Victor
to Detour, Michigan.
1911: Ran between Green Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.
1917: Sent to the east coast after being purchased by the International Bank of New York.
March 1919: Renamed the Norlond
after being bought by the Norlond Lines.
Spring 1922: Brought back to the Great Lakes after being bought by Frank Finsthwait.
On Saturday November 13, 1922 the package freighter Norlond
left Chicago for Milwaukee, putting in at Racine for shelter during a gale early Sunday. Leaks were discovered and patched so she could continue Monday morning for Milwaukee. Soon after leaving Racine, she re- sprang a leak, and after trying to pump the incoming water for two hours, the Captain and crew took to the two lifeboats. Less than minutes after the second lifeboat was free from the Norlond
, the Norlond
sank stern first off of Milwaukee's South Point in 58 feet of water with $500,000 in cargo. The captain and crew managed to make it to shore safely.
In the summer of 1923, the wrecking steamer Jane
salvaged the engine of the Norlond
along with most of the general merchandise that made up the original cargo.
Wreck hunter John Steele discovered the remains of the Norlond
in 1959 three miles southeast of St. Francis.
Today, the Norlond
sets upright in 58 feet of water on a sand and mud bottom, broken up and scattered about. The upper portion of the hull has fallen apart with the boiler, shaft and propeller, keel exposed. The cargo of general merchandise had been strewn across the bottom.