Interesting Facts on Niagara Falls

maid of the mist wedding
Superman saving a boy from Niagara Falls

When I think about interesting facts on Niagara Falls all I picture in my mind is Jim and Pam's wedding from the Office.  To watch them get married on the Maid of the Mist would have been super cool.  Maybe even cooler is getting married on the boat.  

A younger memory I have about the falls is a scene from Superman 2.  Lois and Clark are visiting Niagara Falls and Superman rescues a little boy that has slipped over the falls.  Yes I can remember that far back :)

Although those are both interesting facts on Niagara Falls below you will find some real life facts as Hollywood doesn't come to the falls often.

Niagara Falls Did Freeze

do the falls freeze

Have you ever heard of the falls freezing?  Well it may be hard to believe when you look at the power of the waters at the falls, but in 1848 Niagara Falls was reduced to a trickle for 30-40 hours because of an ice jam at the mouth of Lake Erie. 

Want to know the location of Niagara Falls? 

The riverbed at the base of the falls was drying quickly so people ventured out into it and found artifacts such as bayonets, muskets and tomahawks from the War of 1812.  Workers from the Maid of the Mist also took advantage of the situation and blew out rocks which were usually hazardous to their voyage.

Scientists believe the ice jam was caused by winds blowing so strongly up the lake that the water at the mouth of the Niagara River froze.  It was not unusually cold that day.

Can you imagine seeing Niagara Falls frozen?

They say a huge crack was heard as the ice gave way and the falls returned to their normal fury.  Frozen Niagara Falls would have been amazing to see and is definitely one of the most interesting facts on Niagara Falls.

does Niagara Falls freeze?

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Niagara Falls Drained in 1969

In 1953, the Horseshoe falls was stopped by building a series of dams to allow for remedial work to be done on the falls.   As you can see from the history of Niagara Falls the falls continue to recede  everyday!

And in 1969 Nigara Falls was drained.  Engineers built dams to reduce the water flowing over the American Falls.  This was done to study the rock formations to see whether it was possible to remove the talus or rock at the base of the American Falls.  They decided they would let mother nature have her way and leave the talus alone.

What they discovered when they drained Niagara Falls was two dead bodies and millions of coins, all of which were moved.  

Can Niagara Falls be turned off?   The answer is no, the falls cannot be turned off.  Those times mentioned above are the only times on record when the falls have stopped. 

Did you know the water can be turned down?

Interesting facts on Niagara Falls should include different ways to view them

Journey Behind the Falls

Did you know there used to be more ways to view the falls?  Today you can view the falls many cool ways, like Journey Behind the falls, where you get up close and personal to the falls - as in the picture here.  

Originally Journey Behind the Falls was built in 1888 and opened for business in 1899.  For many years it was know as "Behind the Sheet" or the "Scenic Tunnel".  

At that time you could pay to climb down a spiral staircase and have a tour through the tunnel with guides and lanterns.  You could also pay for a certificate when you came back up to announce the feat you just performed.

The elevator shaft was blasted in 1903 and in 1925 was expanded to two elevators.  The Journey Behind the Falls tunnels that are there today were blasted in 1944.

Would you take a walk in winter on ice bridges that form at the bottom of Niagara Falls?  These people did!  Check out Niagara Falls history.

Terrapin Tower

Terrapin Tower - view of Niagara Falls

The Terrapin Tower was also another way to view the falls.  Terrapin Tower could be seen near Goat Island along the crest line of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.  It was a 45 foot (14m) observation tower with a deck at the end of the pier.  At the top of the tower there was a small balcony that visitors reported as a majestic viewing platform of the falls and the gorge below.  It stood for 50 years from 1833-1873 and then was blown up.  The Terrapin Tower was described as a rude structure put together by stones found in the area. 

In 1955, the area where the Terrapin Tower once stood was filled in to create an artificial viewing area of the falls.  Today you can view the Horseshoe falls from this point.  It should be noted that this view platform where the tower once stood is on the American falls side.

I am not sure I would have had the courage to climb Terrapin Tower, but I do find it and others interesting facts on Niagara Falls.

A bribe or a boat ride

maid of the mist history

If you have ever see the Niagara River rapids you will know that these next interesting facts on Niagara Falls are pretty crazy.  

In 1861 the Maid of the Mist was not doing well financially, so they accepted a bribe of $50 to sail the boat down the Niagara River through the whirlpool.  

They actually succeeded and although it seemed at times that the rapids would win, the Maid of the Mist came out victorious and holds the record for the only boat to ever make it down the river.  

Want to know the location of the Niagara River?

Did you know Niagara Falls has a point of no return?  It is passed the hydro dam on the Niagara River.   Keep this in mind when reading the scary story below of how 3 people faired after passing Niagara Falls point of no return.

Boy lives after plunging over the Niagara Falls Canada- Horseshoe Falls

boy going over the Horseshoe falls- passed water control dam

Interesting facts on Niagara Falls are plentiful, but I think one of the most talked about happened on June 9, 1960 when seven year old Roger Woodward went over the Horseshoe Falls with only a life jacket and lived to tell about it.  He was boating with his fathers' friend, Jim Honeycutt and his seventeen year old sister, Deanna.

They took the boat passed the hydro dam which is considered the point of no return for small boats.  When they were about a half a mile from the brink they realized they were in trouble and tried to drive the boat to Goat Island.  The boat overturned and Roger and James went over the falls while Deanna swam to Goat Island and was heroically pulled ashore by on lookers.  

Roger was actually rescued at the base of Niagara Falls by the Maid of the Mist crew, but James was found four days later down river.

Roger Woodward goes down in history to be the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls only wearing a life jacket.

Those kids, Roger and Deanna were two miraculous interesting facts on Niagara Falls.

interesting facts on Niagara Falls

No one can hold back the power of Niagara Falls.  I guess that is why there are so many interesting facts on Niagara Falls.

I do hope you had fun learning some interesting facts on Niagara Falls.  Don't forget to subscribe to my free monthly  newsletter to hear more fun facts and tips and tricks for Niagara Falls Canada.

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