Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 658

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river, and consequently to be carried over the
great Horseshoe Fall, which is that part of the
cataract between Goat Island and the Canadian
shore. The view of these rapids to be obtained
from Goat Island, or from the opposite shore,
were the wonder to end here, would be enough
to reward the pains of the longest journey.
Nearly in the middle, in respect to distance, the
falls are separated by Goat Island, which has
also received the name of Iris Island. This
island, which contains about 75 acres, and is cov-
ered in part with a wild forest, extends to the
brow and to the bottom of the precipice; and,
from its own romantic situation, and the advan-
tage it affords for viewing the surrounding pano-
rama from many interesting points, which other-
wise could never have been approached, constitutes
one of the most pleasing features of the scene.
A few rods from Goat Island, towards the Amer-
ican shore, the fall is again divided by the pro-
jecting of a small island, called Prospect or Luna
Island. The section which is included between
these islands is denominated the Central Fall, or
the Cascade. The distance across the fall, from
the American shore to Goat Island, is 65 rods;
across the front of Goat Island, 78 rods ; around
the Horseshoe Fall, from Goat Island to the
Canada shore, 144 rods; and directly across,
from the island to Table Rock, 74 rods. The
curve of this fall is somewhat less like that of
a horseshoe than it formerly was, having ap-
proached a more angular form in the middle.
The greatest height of the falls is near the shore
on the American side, where the descent is 163
feet; near Goat Island, on the same side, it is
158 feet; near Goat Island, on the Canada side,
it is 154 feet; and at its termination, near Table
Rock, on the Canada shore, it is 150 feet. Vis-
itors are often somewhat disappointed, at first, in
their impressions of the height of the falls,
which is owing to the unanticipated effect of their
other immense proportions, — in length and in
volume of water. When time and varying points
of view have enabled the mind to stretch itself,
in some measure, to take in these vast dimensions
of the scene before it, then the awful grandeur
of the height from which these mighty floods are
descending, will not fail to be realized with al-
most overwhelming emotions. The different
views which are to be obtained from below the
falls are specially subservient to this effect.

The situation of a small island in the rapids
above the American Fall, about midway between
the shore and Goat Island, which is called Bath
Island, encouraged the attempt to construct a
bridge, over which the former might be safely
reached. The work, though one of extreme
difficulty and hazard, was successfully accom-
plished in 1818. This bridge, from the Ameri-
can shore to Bath Island, is 28 rods in length,
and then 16 rods between Bath and Goat Islands.
It crosses the rapids only 64 rods above the cat-
aract. On Bath Island a toll-house is estab-
lished, where a register of the names of visitors
is kept, and the payment of a fee of 25 cents
entitles each person to pass and repass as often
as he may desire during the period of his stay.
On this island an extensive paper mill has been
established. The immense water power which
might be obtained at these falls, for manufac-
turing purposes, is not improved to any great
extent, on account of their exposed frontier sit-
uation in the event of war.

At the lowest extremity of Goat Island, towards
the American side, a fine view is presented of
the Central and the American Falls, of the river
below, of the iron suspension bridge, spanning
the gulf in the distance, at the height of 200 feet,
and of the Whirlpool, caused by a violent angle
in the rushing torrent two miles below, which is
just distinguishable by the cloud of foam which
it sends into the air. Those of firm nerves may
here approach to the very verge of the precipice,
and look directly down at the descent of the
Cascade, or Central Fall, which rolls over the
precipice at their feet, in a clear, unbroken col-
umn, 158 feet high. Beneath and behind this
fall is the celebrated Cave of the Winds. From
Luna Island, which is here connected with Goat
Island by a foot bridge, a similar view of the
American Fall is obtained, and the finest which
is to be had from any position above the banks.
The broad and massive stream pours over the
brink 163 feet, into the depth below. At the
opposite extremity of this great cataract, upon
the American shore, is also a fine position, at
Prospect Place, for a view of the entire falls,
considered on the whole as the best panoramic
view which is to be had from the American side.
From the S. W. angle of Goat Island, towards
the British side, a most grand view is presented
of the Horseshoe Fall, the basin beneath, and the
rapids above. A bridge, called the Terrapin
Bridge, has been carried over the rapids at this
point, about 250 feet, obliquely, towards the brink
of the fall, to a position upon the rocks, where a
stone tower has been erected, called Prospect
Tower, which, from its open gallery at the top,
45 feet high, furnishes a magnificent view of the
whole of this stupendous scene. For a view of
the rapids, perhaps no other point of observation
is equal to this. From this point the Horseshoe
Fall is seen with the finest advantage, under the
light of the morning sun, striking almost directly
upon its front, and spanning the clouds of vapor
with its brilliant bow. This also is the place to
enjoy the scene by the evening moonlight. The
bridge was formerly extended about 50 or 60 feet
beyond the tower, so as to project a few feet over
the edge of the precipice, enabling the spectator
to look directly down 150 feet to the boiling basin
into which the cataract of the Horseshoe Fall
descends. This, however, has been considered as
too daring an exposure of life to be prudently
encountered, and therefore this extension of the
Terrapin Bridge has been broken up.

There is a descent to the bottom of the falls
from the front of Goat Island, which is accom-
plished by a covered winding staircase, erected
in the year 1829 by the late Nicholas Biddle, Esq.,
of Philadelphia, and known as the Biddle Stair-
case. The descent from the island to the margin
of the river here is 185 feet. From the foot of
the stairs, to the left, a path leads to the Horse-
shoe Fall, by which, when the wind is favorable,
a passage may be effected with safety for some
way behind the sheet of falling water. To the
right, from the staircase, a path leads to the cel-
ebrated Cave of the Winds, situated directly be-
hind the Central Fall, towards the American'side.
This cave, formed by a recess in the wall of the
precipice, is about 120 feet across, 50 feet in
width, and 100 feet high. The sheet of water on
the one side, and the projecting rock on the other,
form an overhanging arch of awful grandeur;
and from the back of the cave, the sight and

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