Niagara Falls holds mystery and intrigue for people around the world. We think of the Falls as one entity, when in fact three separate waterfalls make up the popular tourist spot.
When standing on the Canadian side of the US/Canada border and looking toward the Falls, you see the American Falls to the left. A smaller waterfall toward the center is the "Bridal Veil Falls." To the right is the "Horseshoe" or Canadian Falls.
The height of the American Falls is 176 feet, though rock and rubble at the base changes the measurement to 70 feet. Each second, 150,000 US gallons of water fall into the beautiful Niagara River. The length of the brink of the American Falls is 1,060 feet.
The "Horseshoe" or Canadian Falls are somewhat larger. The length of the brink is 2,600 feet, with a height of 167 feet. Each second 600,000 gallons of water flows over the Horseshoe Falls.
Niagara Falls is the second largest waterfall on Earth, the first being Victoria Falls in South Africa.
The water that flows over the Falls travels 15 miles through the Niagara Gorge before emptying into Lake Ontario.
Hundreds of years ago, the Niagara Escarpment split. The sediment from a vanished Lake Tonawanda formed Goat Island. (after John Stedman whose goat herds froze to death in the winter of 1780) The water flow on the American Falls is much less forceful because of Goat Island. The Canadian Falls have no such obstacle.
In winter, water flows continually, though mist and water creates ice formations along the banks of the Falls. This ice bridge often extends for several miles.
On February 24, 1888, the local newspaper reported that 20,000 people watched and tobogganed on the ice bridge. Shacks selling photographs, souvenirs and liquor were plentiful. These activities took place every winter. On February 4, 1912, the ice bridge shattered, killing three tourists. A law was passed forbidding public access to the Falls.
On March 30, 1848, water ceased to flow over both the...
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