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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wilson in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wilson Harbor

Boards, Boats, and Beaches

 
 
Wilson Harbor Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
1. Wilson Harbor Marker
Inscription. What's the attraction? The shelter and beauty of Tuscarara Bay has attracted settlers, merchants, and vacationers since the early 1800s. The focus of the attraction has changed over time, and so has the very shape of the bay, but Wilson Harbor continues to be a vital Lake Ontario port.

Present: Marinas, Camps, Pleasure Craft
Pleasure Boat Port
1999 Wilson Boathouse remodeled and New Community Center and Marina built
1990 Boat Launch and Docks Built at State Park
1980 Sport Fishing Dominates Harbor Activity
1960 Wilson-Tuscarora State Park Established.
1950 Steel and Concrete Piers Built
1950 Boathouse Restaurant Opened

1875-1920: Resorts, Hotels, Cottages. Shore erosion and flooding caused the east branch to break through to the lake around 1900.
Resort Center
1905 Jacob Miller improves Maple Grove Park as a cottage community
1900 Olcott Beach Hotel built
1895 July 24, Steamer 'Arguyle' made 2 round trips to Toronto.
1895 June 13, Boat lands 450 people at park
1895 June 10,First boat of the season at park with 250 people.
1894 July 16, Steamer from Toronto ties up with 900 people aboard.
1894 July 10, Charter boat from Toronto brings 700 people to picnic.
1890s Pittsburgh Hotel built.
1891 Shipping apples, peaches, grapes, grain,
Wilson Harbor Marker and Wilson Pier Arch image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
2. Wilson Harbor Marker and Wilson Pier Arch
At the foot of Ontario Street. The harbor is left; the east pier is right.
wool, lumber, and coal. Great oak forests depleted. 1876 The schooner 'Union" built.
1845-1875: Shipbuilding, Logging. First Piers built by Luther Wilson in 1846.

Resource Extraction
1875 The 'Trader' and the 'Plowboy' built.
1867 The 'Live Oak' built.
1866 The 'Pilot" built.
1963 The 'Meteor', 'Fleetwing', and 'Eureka' built.
1862 The 'Active' built.
1854 The 'Bell Adkins' built.
1852 The 'Josephine' built. 1850 The 'Enterprise' built. 1849 The 'Almira' and the 'Forest' built. 1848 Wilson became Port of Entry
1848 The 'Emblem' built.
1847 The 'Niagara' built.
1846 The R.F. Wilson' built.
1817 Oak logs shipped to England to build warships.
1817 'Ontario' first steamboat to visit Wilson.

The O-SO-EZE. This naptha powered boat ferried people from the mainland to the island, and also cruised the lake for short excursions.

Photo of Wilson Boathouse circa 1910.
The Pittsburgh Hotel. This was one of many hotels serving vacationers, so many from Pittsburgh that at one time Wilson was called a Pittsburgh resort.
The 'Fleetwing' was one of several schooners built here to carry passengers and freight to and from the harbor.

Maritime Heritage. Ideal Harbor Conditions are the Attraction that Sustains this Seaway Trail port.
 
Erected by
Wilson Harbor Marker and Pier image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
3. Wilson Harbor Marker and Pier
Harbor opens to Lake Ontario. The west pier is attached to Sunset Island. The sidewalk leads to the east pier which is paved, but typically extremely icy in winter. The Toronto skyline can be seen from the pier, weather permitting.
Seaway Trail, Inc. Corner Ray & West Main St., Sackets Harbor, NY 13685 1-800-SEAWAY-T.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway marker series.
 
Location. 43° 19.022′ N, 78° 50.041′ W. Marker is in Wilson, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is on Ontario Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at the terminus of Ontario Street, off NY route 18. Marker is in this post office area: Wilson NY 14172, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Port of Entry Marker and Wilson Boat House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lake Island Park, Wintergreen Island, Tugwell Island & Clark Island (approx. mile away); Park and Harbor Streets (approx. 0.3 miles away); Greenwood Veterans' Memorial Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Vietnam Memorial in Memory of 1st Lt. Michael E. Witkop (approx. 0.4 miles away); A Solemn Tribute to the Men and Women of Wilson who Served (approx. 0.4 miles away); O'Connell Island (approx. 0.4 miles away); Greenwood Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilson.
 
More about this marker. "This exhibit made possible by a grant from FHWA to Seaway Trail, Inc. and
Wilson Harbor Marker Parking image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
4. Wilson Harbor Marker Parking
There is free parking at the marker, and a small public washroom to the right is open from April to October.
with the cooperation of the Niagara County Department of Planning, Development & Tourism. Thanks to Charles Horton for providing historical Information and photos."
 
Also see . . .
1. Wilson Harbor web cam. (Submitted on January 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Seaway Trail. (Submitted on January 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. Wilson-Tuscarora State Park. Includes public boat launch at end of harbor. (Submitted on January 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Wilson Harbor and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
5. Wilson Harbor and Marker
Sunset Island is across the harbor to the right. It is not actually an island because it is tethered to the mainland by breakwalls. Treasure Island (aka: Clark Island) is hard to the left; home of the Tuscarora Yacht Club.
Wilson Harbor Towards Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, January 14, 2014
6. Wilson Harbor Towards Marker
This northeast view towards the marker is from Sunset Bay Marina on O'Connell Island behind the Sunset Grill. Sunset Island is to the left. Follow the tree line from the left and you will notice a break from closer trees to a few more distant trees. That break is the harbor exit to the left. The marker and arch cannot be seen due to picture resolution.
Wilson Harbor Early Spring View Next to Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 14, 2014
7. Wilson Harbor Early Spring View Next to Marker
Clark Island (Treasure Island)/Tuscarora Yacht Club at left; Sunset Island at right.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 294 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 31, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.   7. submitted on June 22, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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