Who we are

The Lawson Boating Heritage Center on Chautauqua Lake is an IRS Section (501)(c)(3), not-for-profit, organization formed of Officers and Trustees whose passion is preserving, displaying, and presenting as much of Chautauqua boating history as possible: both its artifacts and it’s singular milieu.

So, why is the venerable L.S. Aero Marine building important to Chautauqua’s boating history? Why would anybody turn this old business into a MUSEUM?

Before the 1920s, motorboats on Chautauqua Lake were nearly all large, expensive yachts, bought and maintained by the very wealthy. The Lawson Boat and Engine Company, Inc., precursor of L.S. Aero Marine, virtually introduced the first family-priced and family-sized motorboats to the lake.

From its founding in 1918, the Boat Chandlery at 73 Lakeside Ave. in Bemus Point was constantly in the forefront of family boating on Chautauqua, as the source of nearly one-thousand boats sold, as a treasure-trove of parts, as well as a font of first-hand knowledge and advice. The L. S. Aeromarine Chandlery is the history of family boating on Chautauqua Lake

We have completed the first phase of our work by restoring the Lawson Chandlery. Now, we continue preserving the memory of—and many of the iconic relics from—this history. It’s our passion—and your history.

Each summer, we present a season filled with adult and youth education (including free NYS Boaters Safety Courses), special events, shop classes, and many new exhibits— including antique and classic boats and steamboats. You're gonna' LOVE it! Oh, and don't miss our fabulous Boat Shop! That's worth a visit all by itself.

We are the Officers & Trustees of The Lawson Boating Heritage Center on Chautauqua Lake.