HENDERSON — The onetime owners of most of Galloo Island have reacquired the 1,900-acre Lake Ontario property with the intent of preserving it as farmland.
Jefferson County real property records show that Galloo Island Farms LLC, Williamstown, Mass., purchased the property in the town of Hounsfield Thursday from Galloo Island Corp., Chittenango, for $5.8 million.
The family-owned Patten Corp. owned the 4.5-mile-long island from 1986 to 1990 until selling to Galloo Island Corp., but the family has now bought the property back from the corporation.
Michael S. Patten, of Naples, Fla., and his son, John, said Tuesday that no development of any kind is planned for the island, with the goal being to restore and conserve the land.
“This place has been near and dear to us over the years,” Michael Patten said. “We’re going to continue to bring the farmland back to use as we go. We’ll restore the farmland, which is important for the sustainability of the land and the environment.”
John Patten said he recalled recreating on the island in his youth.
“It’s a special place,” he said. “We realize that I spent a lot of my childhood out there and we’re excited to finally have it again.”
The family is accustomed to providing environmental stewardship, operating Woodlife Ranch, an 1,100-acre preserve in the Berkshire Mountains where habitat restoration, soil regeneration and resource conservation are emphasized. In addition to producing apples, honey and maple syrup, the ranch features livestock and a host of recreational opportunities.
Michael Patten said the family did do some development in the 1980s on Grenadier and Carleton islands in the north country, but there are no plans for Galloo Island beyond the preservation and restoration of farmland.
“This is more of a passionate project for us,” he said.
The acquisition removes the possibility that Galloo Island will become the host site of wind turbines. Galloo Island Corp. had entered into a purchase agreement with Upstate NY Power Corp. to locate an 80-turbine wind farm on the island, but the project stalled in 2011 when the New York Power Authority determined that NYPA would not enter into a power-purchase agreement with the project and the work never moved forward. Apex Clean Energy subsequently proposed a wind farm on the island, but withdrew its application in 2019.
The siting of a wind farm twice prompted litigation between the towns of Henderson and Hounsfield over the placement of a transmission line. Although the island is in the town of Hounsfield, it is closer to the town of Henderson mainland, being about 6 miles from Stony Point, while lying roughly 12 miles from Sackets Harbor. Because the wind farms were never built, the transmission line was never needed.
“We’re not interested in wind mills,” Michael Patten said. “That’s not on our radar screen.”