1. Interesting fact: Almost 1/3 of the Canadian Falls lies within US Territory.
2. Weird fact: The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old
3. Sad Fact: Jesse Sharpe, a 28 year old from Tennessee, went over Niagara Falls in a kayak. Robert Overacker, a 39 year old from California, used a jet ski to go over Niagara Falls. Neither of them survived.
4. High wire tightrope acts used to be performed across the river. The best known high wire walker was "Blondin" who once actually carried his manager across on his back, stopping midway to rest !
5. Amazing fact: Twenty percent of the world's fresh water lies in the Great Lakes, and most flows
over Niagara Falls.
6. Niagara Falls is home to the world's largest glass-enclosed butterfly conservatory. More than 2,000 species of butterflies call this tropical setting home.
7. The Niagara River is not a river; it is a strait.
8. Marilyn Monroe stayed at the Brock Plaza Niagara Falls, now called the Crowne Plaza, while filming the movie "Niagara" in 1953. (If you wander through the Crowne Plaza Hotel lobby you will find more pictures with other fun facts about Niagara Falls.)
9. "Niagara" is the only Marilyn Monroe film in which her character dies.
10. Fish swim over the falls all the time, and 90% of them survive. In fact,a tourist was hit by a salmon while walking on the Cave of the Winds boardwalk. He was not hurt but was able to take the fish home with him as a memento.
11. The amount of water going over the falls could fill up 50 Olympic sized swimming pools in one minute
12. The world's first railroad suspension bridge was erected over the Niagara River in 1848.
The history of the Niagara Region is pretty textbook. Some 12,000 years ago the first settlers came to the Niagara Region to witness the birth of The Falls. Way back when the land was nothing but spruce and tundra forest, a whole lot different of a look then nowadays with its flashy lights and filled up streets. The Clovis People were amongst the first to inhabit this picturesque place who were nomadic hunters that most likely camped along the old Lake Erie Shoreline. Through the years hunter-gatherers made their way here during the Archaic Period approximately 9,000-3,000 years ago. Fish camps were set along the rivers and lakes that cascaded the likes of the Niagara Region.
During The Woodland Period which lasted from 3,000-300 years ago The Iroquois came to the area. When the Iroquois came here they started to create small villages and a political system was put in place in these villages, which was rare at the time. At the beginning of the 17th century the European explorers and missionaries arrived causing havoc of power.
Many great explorers made their way to the New World, but never made it over to see Niagara Falls. In 1615 Etienne Brule is said to possibly be the first to behold Niagara Falls. The Recollect missionary was said to explore Ontario during this time. Just a decade later the Jesuits arrived and Gabriel Lalemant was the first to record the Iroquios name for the river: "Onguiaahra", in laments terms, "The Strait". "Niagara" is the simplified original name.
In 1651 the Iroquois wiped out the Neutrals. The fur-trade rivalry is what caused the wipe out and until the American Revolution the Iroquois somehow managed to almost keep white settlers out of the Niagara Region.
Louis Hennepin published "Nouvelle Decouverte" which speaks of The Falls. After visiting The Falls in 1678 he fell in love with the Wonder of the World. He left an impression on the area as he believed The Falls to be a large masterpiece, estimating it at 183 metres high, more than 3 times what is actually is.
The war of 1812 broke out in the area and after the war the area was able to in time rebuild itself. A part of the country was fiercely fought over by British and American soldiers in the War of 1812, where history has left its mark. Museums, preserved forts, and the home of Canada's heroine, Laura Secord, are found here. This is also the home of Canada's wine growing region. Today there are around 80 wineries in the area that continually persevere the greenery of Niagara.
The first ferry service across the lower river began in the 1820's showcasing to the world that Niagara was continually building itself back up. By 1827 paved roads were created and had been built up from the ferry landing to the top of the bank. The Clifton hotel was built in this area and this area is now Clifton Hill, a place with many high-rises and activities for all to partake in.
Over the last 150 years, daring souls have gone over the Falls by the dozens in every contraption possible. Some have died in the attempt; others like 63-year-old widowed schoolteacher Annie Taylor, the first person to survive a plunge over the Falls in a barrel, made history and gained fame.
In 1829 a major investment was created in the region, The Welland Canal, which still has cargo boats and yachts come through its walls daily. In 1841 the first Upper Canada railroad open its rails and later on in 1854 served the township of Niagara Falls with steam engines. The 1820's was a great time for the Niagara Region as tourism began to boom and still to this day Niagara Falls is known as a perfect tourist destination for all. After World War 1 attractions, accommodations and restaurants galore began to develop and now over 13 million tourists visit Niagara Falls yearly. Niagara Falls and surrounding areas boast an immense amount of history. That history is showcased through the various adventures one can venture off in while in this perfect region.