PRESQUE ISLE — A new fund at Northern Maine Community College will help students in the mechanized logging operations program while honoring the memory of longtime logger and Aroostook County native Wilson Henry Clark.
Clark began working in the North Maine woods back when logs were hauled out by horses. As mechanical advances were made, he learned to operate and repair logging equipment. According to his daughter, Katheen Clark Woodside, “Dad loved working and being in the Maine woods.” One of her earliest memories is of him leaving each week to work at a logging camp. When he was home on weekends, he spent most of his time working on equipment in preparation for the next work week.
Clark’s strong work ethic and his mechanical mind helped him achieve a dream of owning his own trucking company; Wilson Clark Trucking in Ashland, hauled logs, chips and lumber. Clark is remembered by many for his involvement with the Lumberjack Round-Up Association, the Ashland Snowmobile Club, and the Ashland Logging Museum. He loved the Round-Ups and was a fierce competitor, but he was also a great sportsman who loved to show others how to work with the tools of the trade. Each year, the Lumberjack Round-Up Association gives one of its participants the Wilson Clark Sportsmanship Award in his honor.
Clark is also remembered for his generosity with his time and talents. He was bilingual, which had its advantages in an area where both English and French are commonly spoken. He was able to translate and assist others in establishing contracts with the various mills in the area. That ability to speak both languages helped many French speaking logging contractors in the area get their start in the business; some of them are still in business today.
Clark Woodside and her brothers, Greg and Jeff Clark, started the Wilson H. Clark Fund as a way to support students in the mechanized logging operations program while honoring their father’s memory. According to the family, Clark did not have many opportunities growing up and was self-taught, so this fund will help another person who loves the Maine woods with an annual stipend to help with course expenses.
The training program gives students a broad overview of the most common mechanical systems in modern timber harvesting equipment, and an understanding of the variables of timber growth, tree species, and market flux, with a strong emphasis on safety. Courses combine hands-on work operating the most current logging equipment in a forest environment, with dynamic classroom learning to train students to become professionals in the industry.
To contribute to the Wilson H. Clark Fund, mail your donation to Northern Maine Community College Foundation; Attn. Dr. Dottie Martin; Dean of Development and College Relations; 33 Edgemont Drive; Presque Isle, Maine 04769. Dr. Martin can be contacted by phone (207-768-2806) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Donations can be made online at nmcc.edu.