Have you ever found yourself wondering about Niagara Falls History or how Niagara Falls was formed?
The Clovis people were the first known inhabitants of Niagara Falls. Following this Iroquois Native Americans made this area their home for many years. Theycalled the river Onguiaahra. Then explorers such as Samuel De Champlain began to scope the land. However, Etienne Brule was the first explorer to see the Falls. The first person to describe the Falls and record its name Niagara was Father Louis Hennepin in 1678. He was a Franciscan missionary.
The Niagara River is a remnant of the last Ice Age. The Niagara River is 35 miles long and connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. Some 18,000 years ago the area that is now southern Ontario was completely covered in sheets of ice. As they made their way toward the south, these sheets of ice proceeded to gouge out basins that formed the Great Lakes. As the glaciers continued to melt, they released massive amounts of melt water into those basins.Around 12,500 years ago, the area forming the Niagara Peninsula was freed of ice. The melt water began to make its way through what would eventually become Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the Niagara River and onward until it eventually reached the sea. Niagara Falls history notes that glacial melt waters were eventually re-routed as a result of intense pressure being released from the ice. As a result, the melt waters made their way through northern Ontario and bypassed the southern route. Eventually, the Falls finally reached the Whirlpool.It eventually made its way to Lake Ontario.
Throughout the 18th century, the Falls became a popular tourist attraction. It was during the 1800s that the river crossing in the local area became quite important and a footbridge was eventually constructed in 1848. Numerous other bridges were later built and only two have survived into modern times.
As per Niagara Falls history this made it possible for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross United States and Canada.
Following the Civil War, Niagara Falls was publicized by the New York Central railroad as a wonderful destination for honeymoon visits and pleasure. Tourism continued to boom after World War I, with the explosion of automobiles making it much easier for tourists to visit the Falls. Attractions and accommodation sprang up.
Today, Niagara Falls remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in North America and attracts 12 million visitors annually.
During the winter, a frozen Niagara Falls is also a huge hit with tourists. Whether you see Niagara Falls frozen or in the middle of summer, it is always a treat. For more information about the Niagara Falls history, contact the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce.
NIAGARA FALLS TIMELINE
1678 – Franciscan monk and explorer Louis Hennepin becomes the first European explorer to encounter the falls.
1846 – The Maid of the Mist is used as a ferry to transport people and goods across the river.
July 1848 – The first service bridge across the Niagara gorge is completed. Seven years later, the first suspension bridge that can carry the weight of a train is completed. There are two levels, one for carriage and the other for railway traffic.May 1857 – Widely considered to be the first painting to adequately capture the beauty and power of Niagara Falls, Frederick Church displays his landscape masterpiece, The Great Falls, Niagara for the first time in New York City. 200,000 come to see it as it is widely proclaimed one of the greatest landscape paintings of all time for the first time in New York City.
Summer 1859 – Jean Francois Gravelet, known as the “The Great Blondin,” begins a famous series of tightrope walks across the Niagara gorge, over the rapids about a mile down river from the falls. The act draws crowds as large as 25,000 people. Blondin even manages to carry his manager over the rope on his back.
1885 – The first electric arc lights for street illumination replaced oil lamps in Niagara Falls, Canada, using electricity purchased from Niagara Falls, New York.
July 15, 1885 – The Niagara Reservation State Park opens, attracting 750,000 visitors. It is the first state park established in the United States.
Nikola Tesla designed the first hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls, New York which started producing electrical power in 1895.
July 11, 1920 – Charles Stephens, the first man but second person to go over the falls takes the plunge in a 600-pound oak barrel. The force of the water rips the barrel apart and Stephens is killed. His right arm is the only part of him to be recovered.
July 9, 1960 – A seven-year-old boy named Roger Woodward is swept over the falls after a boating accident. He survives with only minor injuries and is rescued by the Maid of the Mist. He is the first person known to go over the falls without any sort of protection and survive.
Know your Niagara Falls history – Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in America.