Boards, Boats, and Beaches
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.
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, 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.
1875 The 'Trader' and the 'Plowboy' built.
1867 The 'Live Oak' built.
1866 The 'Pilot" built.
1963 The 'Meteor', 'Fleetwin', 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.