BEMUS POINT - Chautauqua County has a direct connection to Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Bemus Point Historical Society is inviting residents to learn about it.
On Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m., Maple Springs residents Kathleen McCarthy, John Michael and Bob Wooler will present their original historical research about builder and entrepreneur Oscar S. Lang at the St. Mary of Lourdes Church Hall in Bemus Point.
The program will focus on Lang's life story, his portfolio of bungalows and arts and crafts home in Chautauqua County and his signature design and building details. The program will also discuss in detail Lang's connections with Wright.
A SHORT HISTORY OF OSCAR LANG
Lang worked his way across New York state in the late 1800s as a builder and mortgage broker, settling in Buffalo in the 1890s. In 1904-05, Lang served as the general contractor for the Heath and Darwin Martin houses in Buffalo, both of which were Wright designs.
In 1909, he brought his building experience and some of Wright's design elements to the Chautauqua Institution, where he constructed the Taylor house. Two years later, Lang used the same design to build a house in Westfield for another Taylor family.
Beginning in 1912, Lang was active on the east side of Chautauqua Lake. He built several homes for the Welch family in the Chedwel estate between Maple Springs and Dewittville, and moved to Maple Springs where he opened a sawmill to take advantage of the building boom that was taking place in the newly planned Whiteside allotment.
Between 1913-17, Lang served as a founding member of the Maple Springs Union Church. He built several homes and the boys' club, which would later become the original fire hall for Maple Springs. He would go on to call the community his home until declaring bankruptcy and moving to Florida in 1917. However, Lang's Wright-inspired designs grace homes throughout the Chautauqua region to the day.
For more information about the event, visit the Bemus Point Historical Society Facebook page.