In our last issue we gave the story of CAPTAIN C. D. SECORD and we mentioned that the ship was given her last name in honour of one of the officers of the Mohawk Navigation Company Ltd. Not only was Capt. Carleton Dace Secord an associate of Robert A. Campbell, the founder of Mohawk and several other companies, but by coincidence he had also been the master of the SECORD when she entered service back in 1900 as CHARLES R. VAN HISE for the Bessemer Steamship Company.
In addition, we mentioned that SECORD suffered engine troubles back in the early sixties and, thanks to the digging of Jim Kidd, we can now present further details. On December 2nd, 1961, CAPT. C. D. SECORD was upbound in the St. Mary's River when she damaged her propeller and suffered an engine breakdown. Another Mohawk steamer, SIR THOMAS SHAUGHNESSY, happened to be upbound in the same area at the time and she took the SECORD in tow, hoping to get her to Port Arthur where repairs could be put in hand.
The two ships were making their way westward across Lake Superior on December 4th when they were caught in a strong northwesterly gale which soon whipped up the lake. In the heavy seas, the towline broke and for 24 hours the SECORD wallowed helplessly in the trough of the waves. The SHAUGHNESSY, herself 55 years old and not the most powerful of ships, was unable to get a line aboard the helpless freighter and was suffering considerable damage from the pounding she was taking.
In due course another Mohawk vessel, GOLDEN HIND, passed on her way downbound from the Lakehead and she was called to assist. GOLDEN HIND stood by the SECORD and this permitted the SHAUGHNESSY to make her way on to Port Arthur for repairs. On December 6th the SECORD was taken in tow by the U.S.C.G. WOODRUSH and was brought safely to Houghton, Michigan. On December 7th she proceeded under tow to Port Arthur shipyard where she was laid up and her engine removed for rebuilding. In fact, the work was so extensive that the vessel did not re-enter service until June 20, 1962.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.