I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
Friday, March 20, 2015
The Day Niagara Falls Disappeared
month marks the 167th anniversary of a 30 to 40 hour period when Niagara
Falls ran dry!
was late on the night of March 29, 1848 when a local farmer on the New York side,
Jed Porter, was out for a walk and noticed something was different. The
normal sound of the thundering falls was gone!
Dry Niagara Falls
next morning residents on both sides of the falls had gathered to witness the
site; the falls had dried up over night. Factories and mills on both sides of the
falls stopped work because the waterwheels used to power them couldn’t operate without water.
word was out, over 5,000 people gathered to see the dry riverbed, and contemplate the
absence of the falls. Stories were told for years afterwards about people walking
across the riverbed, discovering guns and tomahawks that had been dropped over the
falls, one person even reported finding a skeleton ...
feared it was the end of the world; others thought the falls had finally run
dry. When no one could offer a logical reason why the falls had stopped, impromptu
church services sprang up on both sides of the river.
answer finally came from Buffalo, New York – gale-force winds has forced chunks
of ice into the mouth of the Niagara River, between Buffalo and Fort Erie, effectively
shutting off the flow of water to the falls.
all of March 30 and most of March 31, there was no water, but late on that
Friday evening, after a day with temperatures in the 60s and a shift in the
winds, a low rumble could be heard approaching the falls. People ran from
the riverbed as torrents of water tumbled and tore through, to once
again cascade over the falls with a deafening roar. The river was running
was the only known time that Mother Nature stopped the falls.