Niagara Falls and its German Community, Pages 1 - 5


Niagara Falls, N.Y. and its German Community, 1912.


Caption under picture reads Niagara Falls


Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The City of Niagara Falls and the World Famous Waterfall

Twenty-two miles northwest of Buffalo in Niagara County is the city of Niagara Falls with the world famous waterfall, which as a magnificent and unique landscape belongs to the list of natural wonders of the world. The Falls may not be as high or as broad as other cataracts but its vista is without equal.

Buffalo and "The Falls" are sometimes grouped together. First of all Niagara Falls with its beautiful surroundings is a favorite retreat for Buffalonians. Secondly Buffalo is a headquarters for hordes of tourists who travel yearly from all parts of the world to see Niagara Falls. There are many railroad lines and a heavily used, excellent streetcar line providing the chief means of transport. With completion of the boulevards meant for wagons and automobiles going between Buffalo to Niagara Falls, the relationship between the two areas will become even stronger.

Niagara Falls is formed by the Niagara River, which connects Lake Erie with Lake Ontario. The river is only 36 miles long. At the 22 mile point the river flows over the falls. From there the river travels another 14 miles to Lake Ontario. Before reaching the falls the river is wide and shallow. After going over the falls the river is narrow and deep. Next to Buffalo where it flows out of Lake Erie the river is a half mile wide. Right before the falls the river spans a full mile.

Caption under picture at top reads Niagara Falls, N.Y. 1912


From the falls to the whirlpool it's an eighth of a mile wide. The narrowest point is at Foster's Flats in the gorge, where the river width narrows to one sixteenth of a mile. Before the falls the average depth measures 20 feet. Below the falls the average depth is 200 feet at the Cantilever Bridge. Below the railroad bridge it is 90 feet deep. At the rapids it is about 40 feet deep and at the whirlpool it's 400 feet deep. From there to Lewiston it's 60 feet deep and then it's 100 feet deep to Lake Ontario.

At the point where the lake turns into the river it measures 573 feet above sea level. Where it meets Lake Ontario is measures 247 feet above sea level, a decline of 336 feet. It drops 15 feet from Lake Erie to the head of the rapids, 55 feet in the rapids, 161 feet over the Falls themselves, 98 feet from the Falls to Lewiston, and it drops 7 feet the rest of the way to Lake Ontario. The cataract divides up at Goat Island into the Canadian Falls and the Horseshoe Falls (so-called because of it's shape) on the American Side. The Canadian Falls are 3000 feet wide and 159 feet high. The American Falls are 1100 feet wide and 165 feet high. The breadth of Goat Island at the mouth of the gorge measures 1200 feet. Between 176,000 and 222,000 cubic feet of water go over the Falls per second. Seven-eighths of that water falls on the Canadian side.

Niagara Falls is generally acknowledged as the largest tourist attraction that America has to offer. It's estimated 1,200,000 people visit the Falls each year. Europeans touring the United States, even those in this country for but a short time, make every effort to take a trip to the Falls. And Niagara Falls enjoys its claim to fame before the entire world. It makes every effort to enhance its natural beauty and create a lasting impression.

The best view of Niagara Falls is from Prospect Park, where a bridge goes over to Goat Island. This island offers many beautiful vistas. An entire series of islets spanning the rapids are connected by bridges to Goat Island. Luna Island connects to the American Falls.

Caption under picture at center reads Fall Street between Main and First St.


The renown Three Sisters Islands spans the Canadian part of the river. Especially worthy of sightseeing is the "Cave of the Winds".

Municipalities on both sides go by the name of Niagara Falls. The American Niagara Falls in the State of New York is a rapidly growing city, which in 1910 had 30,445 residents according to the last census. There's been an increase in the head count since then. The Canadian city of Niagara Falls in the Province of Ontario as of 1900 had 4500 residents and over the last 12 years that number has not grown significantly. Magnificent parks line both sides of the shore. In order to keep the beautiful landscape vista from being destroyed and to insure that sightseeing remains a cost free activity for tourists, the Government of the State of New York created the New York State Reservation at Niagara in 1885 at an expenditure of $1,500,000. This reserve includes Prospect Park, Goat Island, and the other islands that make up the 412 acre expanse. In 1889 Canda followed our example and designated their area the Queen Victoria Niagara Falls Park.

A small steamboat sails very close to the roiling waters under the falls. It's called the Maid of the Mist. Sightseeing of the lower falls is best done on the Niagara Belt Line or the Gorge Route Bus Line. The must-see attractions on this stretch are the four bridges which span the Niagara River, the Whirlpool Rapids, the Whirlpool, the Devil's Hole, and the Brock Memorial. The first of the four bridges is the Upper Steel Arch Bridge, a suspension bridge constructed in 1895, which took the place of an original suspension bridge built in 1869 and then destroyed by a storm in 1889. The beautiful Cantilever Bridge was built by the Michigan Central Railroad in 1883. The Lower Steel Arch Bridge, used by the Grand Trunk and other railroad lines, was built in 1897 to replace a suspension bridge, which was the first bridge spanning the Niagara River. That bridge was built between 1851 and1856 by the famous bridge builder John A. Röbling, a native-born German.

Caption under picture at center reads Rainbow Bridge linking the United States and Canada


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Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks
Revised September 15, 2005