Bemus Point is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, United States. The village is within the town of Ellery and is located along the eastern shore of Chautauqua Lake. The population was 364 at the 2010 census. Bemus Point is home of the "Floating Stage", with many performers during the summer.
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 Holland 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 northeast of the current ferry landing site. Bemus descendants still reside on original family property along Lakeside Drive north of Bemus Street.
The ferry connecting Bemus Point and Stow was founded in 1811 by Thomas Bemus. The original ferry was a raft built by Thomas, and had to be poled across the lake. Today, a cable-drawn ferry exists in its place and is operated by the Sea Lion Project. Until the nearby bridge (now part of I-86) opened October 30, 1982, the Bemus-Stow Ferry was the only way to cross Chautauqua Lake. When closed for the winter months, motorists had to travel northwest to Mayville, or southeast to Jamestown to reach Stow. Either way was a round trip. Local residents often purchased a seasonal pass to use the ferry, commuting to Lakewood, Sherman, or other areas west of the lake.
Throughout the 1800s, Bemus Point gained popularity as a tourist destination, which promoted its growth and development. By the early 1900s, a dance hall known as the Casino, which still exists under the same name, became a well-known venue for entertainment, particularly big band music. Today Bemus Point is still a popular summer tourist destination, with a large influx of summer population.
In the summer, Bemus Point hosts its "Bemus Bay Pops" concert, which involves many local musicians, and is also host to the "Chautauqua Lake Voices", similar to American Idol.
The village of Bemus Point was incorporated in 1911.