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History of Niagara Falls

  1. By Kevin
  2. On Mar 28, 2017
  3. North America
  4. Travel Tips

 

Today,we will learn about the history of Niagara Falls.

Shared by the United States and Canada,Niagara Falls was one of the most visited tourist sites in the world.One of these countries,however,won’t be able to claim this site much longer.

Known in the past as the premiere Honeymoon destination,this geological wonder is not only one of most popular tourist attractions in the state of New York,but also functions as one of the major power providers to the state itself.It consists of three waterfalls--American Falls,Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls--Niagara Falls water stems from the upper Great Lakes and the river is estimated to be 12,000 years old.The wonder of the falls has intrigued many and has prompted daredevils to"conquer"the falls in various contraptions from wooden barrels to rubber balls.

Niagara Falls Tour

The falls are divided into two parts by Goat Island.The larger portion,on the southwest side,is the Canadian falls,known as the Horseshoe Falls.It measures 2,600 feet(790 meters)along its curve and drops 162 feet(49.4 meters).The smaller American falls is northeast of Goat Island.It is 1,000 feet(305 meters)across and drops about 167 feet(51 meters).Between the American falls and Goat Island are the small Luna Island and the small Luna,or Bridal Veil Falls.

It is estimated that 12,000 years ago when the falls were formed,the edge of the falls was as much as seven miles further down river than it is today.Until the 1950s,when the flow of water began to be controlled,the brink of the falls moved backward an estimated three feet every year because of erosion.

The water that runs over the falls comes from the Great Lakes.90%of the water goes over the Horseshoe Falls.Originally,as much as 5.5.billion gallons of water per hour flowed over the falls.Today the amount of water is controlled by the Canadian and American governments to slow erosion.Besides,some of the water is distracted to provide power for the United States of America and Canada,making Niagara Falls the largest source of electric power in the world.

The Horseshoe Falls are 170 feet high.The brink of the falls is approximately 2,500 feet from one side to the other.And the American Falls are 180 feet high and 1,100 feet long.

The river below Niagara Falls averages 170 feet deep.Daredevils who go over the falls usually hit the bottom of the river before popping back to the surface.

Niagara Falls has been one of the most popular destinations for honeymooners in the world since promoters for the area helped institute"honeymooning"as a tradition in the mid-nineteenth century.The 1953 film Niagara starred Marilyn Monroe as a honeymooner with a wandering eye.The film marked Monroe's explosion as a film phenom--perhaps because the film features a full two minutes of Monroe's soon-to-be-famous backside as she walks toward the falls for a better view.

Niagara Falls Trip

Now,about 12 million tourists from all over the world visit Niagara Falls every summer.

THE BARREL BRIGADE

They are a group of daredevils firmly entrenched in North American folklore.They are the men and women who have made headlines by an act most people would find inconceivable:choosing to take a ride over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls--sometimes with only inches of wood or metal as protection from the pounding rush of thousands of gallons of water.Interestingly,these adventurers,crazy as they may seem,have chosen not to brave the American Falls--where less flowing water and more jutting rocks make the descent even more dangerous.Fifteen adventurers have braved the Horseshoe Falls since 1901.Read three of their stories below:

Annie Edson Taylor

She is not only the first woman,but the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel,Taylor was a poor widow when she arrived in Niagara Falls in 1901.The 63-year old(although she said she was 42)saw the stunt as a way to make money.After hiring a manager,she braved the falls on October 24,1901,in a barrel she designed herself.She survived,but“the heroine of Horseshoe Falls”didn't end up with the financial windfall she expected.She worked as a Niagara street vendor for twenty years and died penniless.

Jean Lussier

The third person to conquer the falls,Lussier took the plunge on July 4,1928,not in a barrel,but inside a six-foot rubber ball that was lined with oxygen-filled rubber tubes.He survived and afterwards made extra money by selling pieces of the ball’s rubber tubes.

George Stathakis

This adventurer made the plunge in a ten-foot,one-ton wooden barrel on July 4,1930.Sadly,however,Stathakis's barrel was caught behind the falls for 14 hours.Having only enough air to survive for three hours,Stathakis died before he was rescued,but his 105-year-old pet turtle,Sonny Boy,did survive in this trip.

If you want to learn more about the Niagara Falls,the best way is to have a Niagara Falls tour from New Jersey,New York,Washington D.C.,Boston or other cities .You can plan your tour from now on!