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Clark Island

Picture
The fish owned by the Clark Family is displayed at the entrance to the Tuscarora Yacht  Club, or TYC, on Clark Island. The GPS coordinates for Clark Island are listed as 43º 18.97 N and 78º 50.05 W. The Clark Island fish has been created in memory of Floyd D. “Red” Clark. The theme of the fish is lakeside living and 
was designed and painted by eleventh grader, Lindsay Schmidt.

A little history...
Clark Island was originally purchased by the Holland Land Company, which aquired it from landowner Robert Morris. Native Americans also had a claim to the land, but relinquished it after the Treaty at Big Tree was signed in 1797.  Wilson was just a small part of the Holland Purchase, which included most of New York State. The island has changed hands many times since then, but notable owners included Stephen Sheldon, Reuben Wilson (founder of the town), Luther Wilson (founder of the village), A.H. Harris, Charles Tugwell, and Charles Harrison.

Stephen Sheldon was given his land from the Holland Land Company and built the first gristmill in Wilson.  Charles Tugwell started the Fredonia Company, made up of canneries built in Wilson and three other cities. Rexford Tugwell, (Charles’s son, and the last governor of Puerto Rico), did much of his reading and writing in a log cabin that was built on the island. Charles Harrison was from the family that made the Harrison Radiator Company such an integral part of Lockport, NY. Floyd D. Clark purchased the island on May 3, 1961 at a Niagara County auction from Charles Harrison. Red Clark worked tirelessly to make the island into a modern marina with a new traffic bridge and boat launch ramp. Shortly after Red purchased the island, the log cabin which Rexford Tugwell used was temporarily made into a concession stand operated by his children and later given to the Wilson Historical Society. The successful move of the cabin was quite an undertaking, but it now stands on the historical grounds site by the Wilson railroad tracks. The TYC clubhouse was built in 1979 on the site where the cabin once stood. Another well-known building that once graced the island was named the Harris House or the Harris Cottage (built by A.H. Harris) and later called the Tugwell House. It burned to the ground in 1924. A small oar house which was also originally built on the island, was later moved to the mainland section of the marina.

For more information about the Tuscarora Yacht Club, located on Clark Island, please visit: www.TYCwilson.com.
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