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In the immediate vicinity of the Falls, many incidents have occurred to impart an additional interest. This was the scene of a number of battles fought during the last war with Great Britain; those at Fort Erie, Chippewa, and Lundy's Lane, were among the most bloody and hard fought that are recorded in history. In the battle near Fort Erie, there was what has generally been considered, a military chef-d'œuvre; the Americans, to the number of 1000 regulars and 1000 of the militia, made a sortie and took the British works about 500 yards from their line, and returned in triumph. The battles in this region occurred in the following order, viz: at Queenston, October 13, 1812; at York, April 27, 1813; at Fort George, May 27, do.; at Stoney Creek, June 5, do.; at Beaver Dam, June 24, do.; Naval Battle on Lake Erie, September 10, do.; the village of Niagara Falls, Lewiston, and Youngstown burnt, December 19, do.; Buffalo and Black Rock burnt, December 31, do. ; Fort Erie taken July 3, 1814; battle of Chippewa, July 6, do.'; at Bridgewater or Lundy's Lane, July 25, do.; at Fort Erie, August 15, and September 17, 1814. The burning of villages and plunder of property on the frontier, are still remembered, and the circumstances detailed with thrilling interest, by many of the inhabitants.

In the year 1817, a bridge was constructed from the shore across the rapids to the head of Goat Island, but was swept away by the ice the ensuing spring. The present bridge was constructed in 1818, and is forty-four rods in length, exclusive of Bath Island. This bridge, though crossing the foaming rapids only sixty-four rods above the Falls, over which visitors are at first disposed to walk lightly and with quickened pace, is perfectly safe for all kinds of teams and carriages, and seems destined to stand a great length of time. Multitudes inquire, with wonder and eager curiosity, how it

could have been constructed in this imminently dangerous place.


They shall be informed; and they will see that, like a thousand other difficult things, it was easily accomplished, when the mode was ascertained. Two very long timbers were thrust out from the shore on an abutment, having the forward ends elevated a little above the rapids and the others firmly secured upon the bank these were then covered with plank for a temporary bridge. At the extremity of this bridge, very large stones were let down into the river, around which timbers were sunk, locked together so as to form a frame, which was afterwards filled with stone. To this, constituting the first pier, a firm bridge was then constructed, and the temporary bridge shoved forward so as to build. a second pier like the first, and so on till the whole was completed. The honour of projecting and constructing this bridge belongs jointly and equally to the proprietors, the Hon. Augustus and General Peter B. Porter.

Till the year 1817, there was no way of descending or ascending the bank below the Falls, except by a ladder, about one hundred feet in length: since then a safe and convenient flight of stairs has been built, by which visitors can have an easy descent to the ferry, and an opportunity to pass a considerable distance behind the magnificent sheet of water. Perhaps there is no place where the height of the Fall is so impressively realized as here.

There are a number of pretty establishments at the Falls, where are kept on hand rich specimens of the mineral fossil, vegetable and animal productions of the vicinity. Among these establishments, as a place of resort, Mr. W. E. HULETT'S, deserves a conspicuous notice. His place is directly opposite the Cataract Hotel, and visitors will there find a library, reading-room, billiard-room, &c. &c., and a most splendid collection of minerals, both from the vicinity of the Falls, and from other parts of the United States.

Mr. A. B. Jacobs, on Bath Island, Mr. S. Hooker, and some others, on the American side; and Mr. Barnett, at his

Museum, Mr. Starkey and Mr. Shultersburgh, on the Canada side, keep on hand an assortment of mineralogical specimens, a variety of elegant articles of Indian manufacture, canes, &c. Among the minerals kept for sale, are transparent selenites; snow-white gypsum; calcareous, bitter, dog-tooth, and fluor spar; crystallized quartz; petrifactions; favasites and other fossils; shells, &c. There are also some noble specimens of bald and gray eagles, with which this region abounds.


Ir was the leafy month of June,

And joyous nature all in tune,
With wreathing buds was drest,
As towards Niagara's fearful side
A youthful stranger prest;

His ruddy cheek was blanched with awe,
And scarce he seemed his breath to draw,
While bending o'er its brim,

He marked its strong, unfathomed tide,
And heard its thunder-hymn.

His measured week too quickly fled,
Another, and another sped,
And soon the summer-rose decayed,
The moon of autumn sank in shade,
Years filled their circle, brief and fair,
Yet still the enthusiast lingered there,
Till winter hurled its dart,

For deeper round his soul was wove
A mystic chain of quenchless love,
That would not let him part
When darkest midnight veiled the sky,
You'd hear his hasting step go by,

To gain the bridge beside the deep,
That where its wildest torrents leap
Hung threadlike o'er the surge,
Just there, upon its awful verge,
His vigil hour to keep.

And when the moon descending low,
Hung on the flood that gleaming bow,
Which it would seem some angel's hand,
With heaven's own pencil, tinged and spanned,
Pure symbol of a Better Land,

He, kneeling, poured in utterance free

The eloquence of ecstasy;

Though to his words no answer came,
Save that One, Everlasting Name,
Which since Creation's morning broke,
Niagara's lip alone hath spoke.

When wintry tempests shook the sky,
And the rent pine-tree hurtled by,
Unblenching mid the storm he stood,
And marked, sublime, the wrathful flood,
While wrought the frost-king fierce and drear,
His palace mid those cliffs to rear,

And strike the massy buttress strong,
And pile his sleet the rocks among,
And wasteful deck the branches bare
With icy diamonds, rich and rare.

Nor lacked the hermit's humble shed
Such comforts as our nature ask
To fit them for their daily task,
The cheering fire, the peaceful bed,
The simple meal in season spread :-
While by the lone lamp's trembling light.
As blazed the hearth-stone clear and bright,
O'er Homer's page he hung,

Or Maro's martial numbers scanned,
For classic lore of many a land

Flowed smoothly o'er his tongue.
Oft with rapt eye, and skill profound,
He woke the entrancing viol's sound,
Or touched the sweet guitar,
Since heavenly music deigned to dwell
An inmate in his cloistered cell,

As beams the solemn star
All night, with meditative eyes,

Where some lone rock-bound fountain lies.

As through the groves with quiet tread,
On his accustomed haunts he sped,
The mother-thrush unstartled sung
Her descant to her callow young,
And fearless o'er his threshold prest
The wanderer from the sparrow's nest;
The squirrel raised a sparkling eye,
Nor from his kernel cared to fly,
As passed that gentle hermit by;
No timid creature shrank to meet
His pensive glance serenely sweet;
From his own kind, alone, he sought
The screen of solitary thought.
Whether the world too harshly prest,
Its iron o'er a yielding breast,
Or taught his morbid youth to prove
The pang of unrequited love,
We know not, for he never said
Aught of the life that erst he led.

On Iris isle, a summer bower

He twined with branch, and vine, and flower,
And there he mused, on rustic seat,
Unconscious of the noon-day heat,
Or 'neath the crystal waters lay
Luxuriant, in the swimmer's play.

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