Save the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry

$14,025 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 177 people in 2 months
The Bemus Point Stow Ferry on Chautauqua Lake has been running since 1811 and is one of only a few cable ferries left in the US. It used to be part of the. State Highway Department but now is operated by a volunteer organization every weekend throughout the summer season. It is a part of Chautauqua County history and a fond memory of childhood rides by many. It carries up to nine cars and many bikers, motorcyclists and foot traffic back and forth across the narrows of Chautauqua Lake, NY. 

She didn’t pass her yearly inspection this year and requires major structural repairs before it can be placed back in service. Our strong volunteer not-for-profit organization is small but very dedicated to keeping the Ferry running every summer. Our funding can start the job but we need major support from the pubilc to complete all the required repairs. 

We have lots of folks volunteering to do grunt work, specialized repairs and help us with the funding. What we need now is help from you. No donation is too small to do big things. The Sea Lion Project Ltd. has only one purpose, to keep the Ferry running every summer at the center of her community. Your help will be greatly appreciated
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The Ferry continues to become safer and sturdier with the structural repairs. The volunteers are fatigued but bolstered by the large outpouring of support from the community. We have received a grant of almost $9000 from the Pay Pal Giving Fund. This along with your donations is co wrong most of the costs of the repairs. We hope to refloat her and continue her repairs in Stow. We will let all of you know when that happens. September sounds like a good time for a party to celebrate the return of the Bemus Point Stow Ferry to service. Watch for announcements and spread the word to donate. We hope the Ferry is here for a hundred more years (or more!). Thanks for following us on Facebook pages The Historic Bemus Point Stow Ferry and Friends and Fans of the Bemus Point Stow Ferry. Please share a lot to get the word out! Thanks
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We were saddened this week with with the passing of John Cheney, the man (and his family and friends) who made it his life work the past 30+ years to keep the Bemus Point Stow Ferry on the water and in service. While sad and missing him, we are hard at work doing the structural work she needs. Our flag, although on a cradle rather than in the water, is at half staff for him.
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Thank you to all who have donated to the fund for the Bemus Point Stow Ferry repair. I want you to know that we still expect to have the Ferry in the water before the end of the season. The volunteers have been working long hard hours cutting out I-beams and grinding the surface of the metal deck to receive the new I-beams. The beams have arrived and are being prepped for installation. On or near the 20th of July the marine welder will arrive and start his job of putting in new steel beams and repairing diesel engine support struts and much more.

The volunteers have managed to do the impossible task of checking off projects indicated by the State marine inspectors as necessary before the Ferry is relaunched. As with any project, especially the repair of old heavily used vessels like the Ferry, you remove one item and underneath you find a whole other project than needs attention first. Our volunteers have absorbed these added projects and managed to keep to their schedule of getting the Ferry back in the water. When the welding and related repairs are done, we will swoop in and paint and clean and make ship-shape the Ferry that you all have been sharing your memories about. The wooden deck, now at the Stow landing will be reinstalled and we hope in August to start our normal summer schedule. I know as a driver on Sunday nights, it just hasn't been the same without the Ferry and its passengers to share the ride, see the sights and watch the sun set on Chautauqua Lake.

Again thanks for your support. We are still short of our goal so share this site with your friends, your extended families, your co-workers. The more you share, the more people will realize how much we need the help getting the Bemus Point Stow Ferry back in service.

If you are near Mayville, NY and want to see the Ferry up on its cradle, stop by the Chautauqua Bell site, near Mayville Park and take a few photos. If anyone is working there, give them a big thank you. Without the volunteers, and your help, there would be no Ferry on Chautauqua Lake.
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$14,025 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 177 people in 2 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Sea Lion Project Ltd
  Certified Charity
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Bemus Point, NY
EIN: 161128803
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Bob and Beth OLSON
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