From August 1954 to 1995, Emilio lived in the Industry estate house or mansion in which John Philips lived in the 1740s. Philips, for whom the city of Philipsburg is named, was a vice commander of St. Maarten in the mid-1700s. When Hurricane Luis destroyed Emilio’s mansion on September 5, 1995, he moved to the former sugarcane boiling house, the building where his mother had been taught to read and write.
Emilio loved his island and was an outspoken person, especially against the government’s immigration policy and destruction of the natural environment. He was a self-made man and loved to read newspapers and magazines from St. Maarten and every parts of the world.
Emilio Wilson often spoke to members of the Emilio Wilson Historical and Cultural Foundation board about his fear that after he died, the beautiful, green hill and hillsides of his property would be destroyed. In 2001, Emilio Wilson signed a long-lease agreement, granting the Emilio Wilson Historical and Cultural Foundation the right to develop the part of his property called the “Doctor’s yard,” into a historical. cultural, educational. and recreational park. In July 2002, a week after the official opening of the Emilio Wilson Park, the generous landowner and patron of the arts died at the age of ninety.