MAPLE SPRINGS - "The most beautiful point between Mayville and Bemus Point" will soon be commemorated.
The Bemus Point Historical Society will be paying tribute to the memory of the Whiteside Hotel with a historical marker Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
"When you look at a facility that served the community from (1816-1985), and there were only five families that owned that hotel, from the Whitesides themselves, through the Haskin family and the Kelderhouse family, it's really an amazing tenure for a single building to have," said Fletcher Ward, Bemus Point Historical Society vice president. "It was once referred to as the most beautiful point between Mayville and Bemus Point; it was a sylvan setting with big maple trees and gorgeous sunsets."
According to Ward, the Whiteside Hotel was demolished in 1985 to make room for modern condominiums, and was one of the last anachronisms from a time that saw grand hotels line the shore of Chautauqua Lake.
The historical marker to be placed at the former location of the Whiteside Hotel will be the ninth marker the Bemus Point Historical Society has placed, including the second in 2013.
"The (historical marker) is part of a state program, and there are about 2,800 markers placed across the state," said Ward. "The historical society has placed markers at the fish hatchery, the Bemus Point-Stow ferry, the Hotel Rowe that used to exist on Lakeside Drive, the trolly stop in Bemus, the first library, the first church in the town of Ellery and the Bemus Tavern. It's not a huge list, but we keep working at it. If people have a particular place they'd like to see recognized, we want to continue placing these markers to help us remember our past."
According to Ward, it's important not to forget about how past events and creations have led to the present day we live in.
"These (establishments) were the foundations of the town of Ellery, and certainly Bemus Point," said Ward. "If you don't have a historical perspective, you really can't appreciate what you have today. It's important from that point, and it is important to the families whose lives centered around those places."
Descendants of the Haskin and Kelderhouse families are expected to be present at the commemoration of the historical marker. The event will take place regardless of weather conditions, and the public is welcome to attend.
The Bemus Point Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the present by preserving the past, and is led by Neil Rodgers, president. For more information on the historical society or the dedication of the Whiteside Hotel historical marker, contact Mary Jane Stahley or Mike and Carol Rodgers at 386-5233 and 386-5233, respectively.