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Colcord, Melvin E., Captain (1844-1912) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Colcord, Melvin E., Captain (1844-1912)

Historical Note:

Captain Melvin Edgar Colcord was born on November 7, 1844 in Prospect, Maine to Josiah Ames (b. 1818-d. 1876) and Martha Jane (Berry) Colcord (b. 1818-d. 1894). Captain Colcord married Roxanna Larabee Cleaves (b. 1844-d. 1912) on March 31, 1866. They had children Marietta (b. 1867-d. 1873), Lizzie Berry (b. 1869-d. 1951), Evelyn Lanpher (b. 1877-d.1952), Edgar M. (b. 1880-d.1930), Arthur Berry (b.1844) and Ethel May (b. 1886-d. 1965). The family resided in Stockton Springs, Maine.1

Capt. Colcord commanded vessels for over 40 years. He started out as a mariner and then  became a sea captain, ship merchant and ship owner.1 He was shipmaster and part owner of the Carrie Heckle (Barkentine), David Babcock (Bark), Mignon (Barkentime) and the Clara E. Colcord (Schooner).2  Captain Colcord was also a ship agent for the barkentine Mignon.3

Family members were also involved in the shipping industry.  Captain Colcord’s father, Josiah A. Colcord, was a sailor, master mariner and merchant ship builder. His brother Emery Colcord was a master mariner.1 Josiah A. Colcord (father) was also master of the David Babcock (Bark), 1875. Uncle William David Colcord and brother Frederick D. Colcord partially owned the bark David Babcock along with Captain Melvin A. Colcord as well.4 Moreover, brother Frederick D. Colcord and Captain Arno W. Freeman were part owners of the barkentine Carrie Heckle with Captain Colcord.2     

The Carrie Heckle (Barkentine) and crew were lost at sea when Captain Freeman was in command. Freeman’s wife, Mabel M. Lanpher, had accompanied him on this voyage as well. The vessel sailed on October 5, 1894 for Puerto Rico and was never seen again. Two stories exist for the demise of the vessel and crew. The first anecdote reported by collector of customs at Philadelphia on January 31, 1895 was the Carrie Heckle (Barkentine) burned at sea due to spontaneous combustion of cargo. The second story was the vessel sunk during a hurricane on October 11, 1894.2

Captain Colcord voyaged to domestic and foreign ports on the Carrie Heckle (Barkentine), David Babcock (Bark) and Mignon (Bark). He traveled to Montreal, Quebec, Bridgewater (NVS), Barbados, La Brea (TRN), Port Spain (TRN), Matanzas (CUB), Nuevistas (CUB), Sagua la Grande (CUB), Cardenas (CUB), Havana (CUB), British Guiana, Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Buenos Aires, Santa Fe (ARG) as well as Pensacola (FL), New York, Boston, Lewes (DE), Philadelphia, Washington D. C., Portland (ME) and Bangor (ME). Cargos contained lumber, shooks, flour, sugar, locomotive engines, boilers and machinery.

Captain Colcord died on August 12, 1912 in Stockton Springs and was buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery in Stockton Springs. Roxanna Colcord died on September 7, 1912 in Stockton Springs and was buried at Mount Prospect Cemetery as well.


1. http://trees.ancestery.com

2. Vessel Index. Maine Maritime Museum. Carrie Heckle (Barkentine)

3. MS-354. Folder 18. Mignon (Barkentine). Charter parties.

4. MS-354. Folder 6. David Babcock (Barkentine). Ownership.

5. MS-354. Folder 11. David Babcock (Barkentine). Freight and cargo.

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