Niagara Falls Jet-Boat Tour on the (Niagara) River
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Geologically speaking, Niagara Falls is relatively young. Around 12,000 years ago, the water plunged over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. A steep slope runs east/west from New York through Ontario, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. It was named the Niagara Escarpment. The scarp is most well-known as the cliff over which the Niagara River descends at Niagara Falls.
The formation of Niagara Falls was and still is a slow process that continues even today. The yearly thawing and freezing of the Niagara River wear away at the rocks under the surface. The steady move of Niagara Falls farther upstream is caused by occasional rockfall and gradual erosion. But thanks to modern influences, the Falls wear away much slower. Rehabilitation works have been done to preserve the waterfall. The volume of water is reduced by diversion for hydroelectric energy.
The first people to recognize and use the power of Niagara Falls were most likely Native Americans living in the Niagara region. Father Louis Hennepin, a French priest, was the first European to document the area. He was overwhelmed by the significance and size of Niagara Falls during a 1678 expedition. Hennepin published a report of his travels in “A New Discovery” when he returned to France. The book brought Niagara Falls to the western world’s attention for the first time. And it inspired further exploration of the Niagara region.
The 1800s development of the rail system opened Niagara Falls to crowds of visitors. It made it a prime destination for travelers from all over the world. In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother, Jerome, honeymooned with his American bride at the Falls. According to the lure of Niagara Falls history, he is credited with starting Niagara Falls’ honeymoon tradition.
Niagara Falls was of spiritual significance to the native people, such as the Neutrals. The name of the region is of native origin. It most likely describes either the falls, “thunder of the waters,” or the river, “on or at the neck.”
The extraordinary sight was first described by Louis Hennepin, who saw the falls in 1678 and called them “a vast and prodigious Cadence of Water.” Among those who tried to express their effect was Charles Dickens, writing, “I seemed to be lifted from the earth and to be looking into Heaven.” Tourism began in the 1800s, and with it came daredevils who defied the falls in boats, barrels, and rubber balls.