The Historic 1811 Bemus Point-Stow Ferry

Celebrating Our 210th Season on Chautauqua Lake

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The above sign says how the Bemus Point- Stow Ferry got it's start. 210 years later, the Ferry is now run by an all-volunteer, 501c3 organization. Today's Ferry is over 90 years old and has just had a 3-year restoration. Plans are to open around Memorial Day, 2021. We welcome back past riders and want to say hello to future riders. We will see you in May 2021 with a party to celebrate the Ferry being back in service.




Hundreds of school children listen to John Cheney and Betty Lou Cheney talking
about the Ferry as they come and visit the Ferry to learn about, and take a ride on the it.

Photo Courtesy - Martha Anderson.






John Cheney was associated with the Bemus Point Stow Ferry for many of his 90 years. As a friend put it, he was the engine, rudder and driving spirit of the Ferry with an everlasting grin.

He spent many years working on her, arranging volunteer help and pilots, driving, painting, and upkeep for the vessel. He worked with community members and businesses in the area to get the materials and help needed to keep her running.

By his side through much of the work and hours was his wife, Betty Lou, now dubbed the Ferry Godmother. Without their constant hard work, support and knowledge, we would not have made it to where we are today. He was always ready to share a story and bit of history about the Ferry, and left a lasting impression on many.

He is missed by all, but his spirit drives us on with our continued work and love of our Ferry.

Eagle photo Courtesy Martha Anderson