250 Route 29. NIAGARA FALLS. Prospect Park.
annum on the Canadian side and !/sft. on the American side. The rocks
passed through by the receding falls are sandstone, shale, and limestone.
At present the formation over which the water pours is limestone, with
shale lying 80-90 ft. below it; and the frequent fall of great masses of
limestone rock is occasioned by the erosion of the underlying shales. At
the Whirlpool the continuity of the rock-formation is interrupted, and
the whole wall of the ravine is formed of drift. Geologists tell us that
a farther retrocession of about 2 M. will cut away the layers of both lime¬
stone and shale and leave the falls stationary on the sand stone, with
their height reduced about 50 per cent.
Niagara Falls appear under the name of Ongiara in Sanson's Map of
Canada (Paris, 1657), but the first white man known to have seen Niagara
Falls was Father Hennepin, a member of La Salle's party in 1678. He
described them as 'a vast and prodigious Cadence of Water, which falls
down after a surprizing and astonishing manner, insomuch that the Uni¬
verse does not afford its Parallel' . . . The Waters which fall from
this horrible Precipice do foam and boyl after the most hideous manner
imaginable, making an outrageous Noise, more terrible than that of Thun¬
der; for when the Wind blows out of the South, their dismal roaring may
be heard more than 15 leagues off'. The sketch he made of the Falls shows
several points of difference from their present state.
The Indians have a tradition that the Falls demand two human victims
every year; and the number of accidents and suicides is perhaps large
enough to maintain this average. Many lives have been lost in foolhardy
attempts to cross the river above Goat Island.
The American city of Niagara Falls closely adjoins the river
and contains (1900) 19,457 inhabitants. The chief source of its pro¬
sperity has long been the influx of sightseers ; but it is now, thanks
to the tapping of the Falls by tunnels and power canals (see below),
rapidly becoming an industrial centre of great importance. It is
estimated that about 700,000 tourists visit the Falls yearly.
A "Tunnel (PI. B-D, 4), 29 ft. deep and 18 ft. wide, has been excavated
through the solid rock from a point just below the Upper Steel Arch Bridge
to a point about l'/4 M. above the Falls, where it is 165 ft. below the level
of the river. It passes below the city at a depth of about 200 ft. A short
canal diverts a portion of the river to the head of the tunnel, where a
maximum of 120-150,000 horse-power is attained by the descent of a stream
of water which does not perceptibly diminish the volume of the Falls.
The district upon which the mills are erected is quite out of sight of the
Falls, the picturesque grandeur of which is not in any way marred by
signs of intrusive utilitarianism. A similar tunnel has been constructed
on the Canadian side. Including the surface canals, it is estimated that
Niagara Falls now supply 400,000 horse-power, used not only for industrial
purposes but also for hundreds of miles of electric railways and the lighting
of several towns.
A visit may be made to the Natural Food Conservatory (PI. C, 4), in
Buffalo Ave., where the well-known shredded wheat biscuits are made.
Besides the processes of manufacture, the visitor will find many features of
interest in the arrangement of the factory, including the employees'
dining-room, the marble bathroom, and the auditorium. Guides are pro¬
vided to show visitors oyer the huge building (no charge). Splendid view
We may begin our visit to the Falls by entering Prospect Park
(PL B, 4), 12 acres in extent, which adjoins the gorge close to the
American Fall. At *Prospect Point, protected by an iron parapet, we
stand on the very brink of the Fall and see it dash on the rocks below.
Hennepin's View, a little to the right (N.), commands a good general
*View. Near the point is the Superintendent's Office, whence an In-