Chronology: History of Niagara Falls

niagara falls history

 Chronology of the important dates. Facts, events and famous people in Niagara Falls history

niagara falls history

History of Niagara Falls is the article about chronology of the important history facts, dates, events and people visiting the waterfalls, from the formation to the modern days.

History of Niagara Falls – Events from thousands of years ago

  • 18 000 years ago, Niagara region was covered with thick ice sheets and with its advancements southward, it formed the basin that became the Great Lakes.
  • 12 500 years ago, with ice sheets melting, lakes and riverbeds were formed.
  • 10 000 years ago, glacial melt-water created the Lake Erie and the water was already flowing through the Niagara River.

Samuel de ChamplainHistory of Niagara Falls – Chronology of events in 17th century

  • 1604, Samuel de Champlain visited Niagara area and wrote about the waterfalls in his journal, based on the experience of others.
  • 1650, Niagara Falls was under the control of Seneca Nation.
  • 1678, Roman Catholic priest, Father Louis Hennepin, was the first European, who visited and reported this wonder to the world.
  • 1678, first European settlers, French, began to settle the area.

History of Niagara Falls – Chronology of events in 18th century

  • 1721, Father Charlevoix was the first person to describe the shape of Canadian Falls as a horseshoe, which is still named as Horseshoe Falls.
  • 1726, French settlers built the Fort Frontenac, future Fort Niagara.
  • 1760, Fort Schlosser built by the British, who arrived in the Niagara area. The fort was built so British can control the route for transporting goods and troops.
  • 1794, African-American slaves from US began using Niagara River to escape to Canada.

History of Niagara Falls – Chronology of events in 19th century

  • 1803, Napoleon’s brother, Jerome and his bride visited Niagara Falls. That was the beginning of the honeymoons in Niagara.
  • 1812, War of 1812
  • 1814, The bloodiest battle of War of 1812, took  place at Lundy’s Lane. At the same year, The Treaty of Ghent, the peace treaty, was signed and ended the War of 1812 between the USA and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1825, Erie Canal opened connecting Lake Erie and Hudson River.
  • 1825, The best known Niagara’s hotel, The Cataract House opened that served famous guests including Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill…
  • 1829, The first Niagara stunter, Sam Patch safely jumped in Niagara River, near Goat Island.
  • 1829, Welland Canal opened.
  • 1833, Terrapin Tower construction.
  • 1836, Horse-drawn cars used for the first railroad, between Niagara Falls in Canada and Buffalo in US.
  • 1846, start of the first Maid of the Mist boat.
  • 1848, construction of the Charles Ellet’s Suspension Bridge.
  • 1848, due to massive ice dam formed on Niagara River, American and Bridal Veil Falls stopped completely. Significantly smaller waterfall was still running on Horseshoe Falls.
  • 1859, first walk across the Niagara gorge, by the famous tightrope walker, Great Blondin.
  • 1860, first attempt of the Niagara Falls Illumination.
  • 1869, the longest suspension bridge, The Upper Suspension Bridge opened.
  • 1879, electricity used for Niagara Falls Illumination.
  • 1881, commercial hydroelectric power used to illuminate the nearby village.
  • 1885, the first State park opened. Both Canada and US began to preserve the land for public use.
  • 1886, Carlisle D. Graham was the first barrel stunt at Niagara Falls.
  • 1888, Canadian Queen Victoria Park opened.
  • 1895, The Niagara Falls Power Company started operating the world’s first AC central power station. Great Gorge Route electric railway started operating.
  • 1897, what is known today as Whirlpool Rapids Bridge opened.

skylon tower niagara falls

History of Niagara Falls – Chronology of events in 20th century

  • 1901, president Mckinley visited Niagara Falls.
  • 1916, popular Niagara Falls attractions, Spanish Aero Car opened to transport tourists over the Whirlpool.
  • 1938, Honeymoon Bridge collapsed into the Niagara River.
  • 1941, The Rainbow Bridge opened.
  • 1955, the original Cave of the Winds destroyed by the dynamite blast as it became too dangerous for tourists; in 1920 the rock fell and killed three visitors.
  • 1956, majority of the Schoellkopf Power Station destroyed by the falling rocks.
  • 1961, Robert Moses Power Plant opened.
  • 1969, American Falls stopped by US Army Corps of Engineers to study erosion and rock formation.
  • 1996, Casino Niagara opened in Canada.
  • 2002, Seneca Casino opened in Niagara Falls NY, US.
  • 2004, Fallsview Casino Resort opened in Canada.

History of Niagara Falls also brings numerous stunters and daredevils who tried to conquer the mighty waterfalls. It has been recorded many times in Niagara Falls history about their attempts, what did they use for this dangerous trip and how they did it.

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