Bemus Point, New York

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Bemus Point is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, United States. The village is within the Town of Ellery and located along the eastern shore of Chautauqua Lake. The population was 340 at the 2000 census. Bemus Point is also home of the floating stage with many performers during the summer.



Bemus Point is located at 42°9′46″N 79°23′28″W / 42.16278°N 79.39111°W / 42.16278; -79.39111 (42.162886, -79.391230)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²), all of it land.

The village is immediately north of the location where Interstate 86 crosses Chautauqua Lake. The Village has recently just won their second State football championship.


Bemus point is home to many restaurants including the See Zurh House, the Italian Fisherman, the Surf Club and the Village Casino. Bemus Point also has a 9 hole golf course, tennis courts, basketball courts, a small beach, park and free boat launch.

The extended area commonly known as Bemus Point includes most of the region immediately outside the village. This includes including the communities of Ellery Center, Centraila, Driftwood, and Cheney's Point. The extended area offers some of the region most desirable real-estate, due to the unique sun set's visable on the eastern shore of the lake.


The area currently known as Bemus Point was first settled by William Bemus in 1806. Bemus had purchased land on both sides of Chautauqua Lake from the Land Company in 1805 at a cost of $1.50. He moved his family to the east side of the lake (in the area now known as Bemus Point) on March 9, 1806. The Bemus family lived in a log cabin approximately 500–660 feet northeast of the current ferry landing site.[2]

The ferry located in Bemus Point on Watson Road was founded in 1811 by Thomas Bemus. The original ferry was a raft built by Thomas, and had to be poled across the lake.[2] Today, a cable-drawn ferry exists in its place and is operated by the Chautauqua Lake Historic Vessels Company. Until the nearby bridge (Now part of I-86) opened Oct 30, 1982, the Bemus-Stow Ferry was the only way to cross Chautauqua Lake. When closed for the winter months, motorist had to travel north-west to Mayville, or south-east to Jamestown to reach Stow. Either way was a 19-mile round trip. Local residents often purchased a seasonal pass to use the ferry, commuting to Lakewood, Sherman, or other areas west of the lake.

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