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Celebrating Captain Ed Clark, decoy artist

On Saturday, May 21, Islanders are invited to view an exhibit of beautiful, hand-carved decoys by Captain Ed Clark and his family.

Captain Clark was born in 1935, and grew up on Shelter Island. His grandparents were the caretakers of what is now Mashomack Preserve, when it was privately owned, which is where he spent most of his childhood.

As with the rest of the family, Ed grew up as a bayman and made his living fishing, scalloping and hunting. Following graduation, Ed served in the Coast Guard. After retiring from the service, he worked at North Ferry as a captain for almost 60 years.

Ed began carving wooden duck decoys for hunting. A friend eventually convinced him to enter a decoy show/competition in western Long Island.

Subsequent years and shows led him to start entering his decoys in the Ward World Championship for decoy carving, hosted in Maryland. Ed taught his four sons to carve and they have also entered competitions.

Ed eventually taught his grandchildren this incredible skill and many Ward World Championship competitions have had entries from three generations of Clarks.

This is a family friendly event, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Shelter Island History Center. Light refreshments will be served.