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the winds into the rapids, and one of them went over the Falls; the other, after leaping from the scow, reached a shoal where he could stand in the water with his head out. In this situation he was seen from the American shore; and two men, at the imminent hazard of their lives, went out in a boat, and succeeded in saving him, and returning safely to shore.
Again, June 10, 1835, two men, in passing from Schlosser to Chippewa, in a skiff, were drawn into the rapids, and hurried to destruction. While in the rapids, they were seen for a short time by persons on the Pavilion. Some days afterwards, their bodies were found in an eddy a mile below the Falls, one of which was deprived of a leg and an arm.
Another melancholy incident happened on the night of December 29, 1837, while the patriots were in possession of Navy Island. The steamboat Caroline, while lying at Schlosser, was at midnight attacked by a party of Canadian soldiers and one person killed. She was then towed out into the stream, set on fire, and was carried over the Falls by the current. Nothing was to be found of her the next morning except a small quantity of the wreck, which was thrown upon the shore below the Falls. The history of this boat was somewhat singular; she was originally built at Charleston, South Carolina, was from thence brought to New York, from thence to Albany, and from Albany she was brought through the Erie and Oswego Canals to Lake Ontario, and from Lake Ontario through the Welland Canal to Chippewa, U. C., between which place and Buffalo she plied for some time as a passage-boat; until she was seized by the Collector of Buffalo, condemned, and sold for a violation of the revenue laws, and at length, during the Canadian disturbances, finished her career by a leap down the awful abyss of Niagara.
An occurrence of the most thrilling interest took place July 25, 1839, while the workmen were employed in repairing the bridge to Iris Island.
A man by the name of Chapin, while at work upon a staging, about 100 feet from the island, accidentally lost his
footing and was precipitated into the rapids, and in an instant swept away towards the great cataract. Speedy destruction seemed to await him; but fortunately he was uninjured by the fall, and in this condition retained his self-possession. He succeeded, by great dexterity in swimming, in effecting a landing upon a little island, the outermost of a group of little cedar islands, situated some thirty or forty yards above the Falls, between Goat Island and the American shore.
There he remained for an hour, looking beseechingly back upon the spectators who lined the shore, among whom were his wife and children, and with whom he could hold no communication on account of the distance and the roar of the Falls. In this emergency, Mr. J. R. Robinson, a man of extraordinary strength and intrepidity, and an excellent boatman, generously volunteered his services to attempt his rescue. A light boat of two oars, similar to the Whitehall race-boats, was soon procured, and he embarked.
He proceeded with great deliberation and skill, darting his little boat across the rapid channels, and at the intervening eddies, holding up, to survey his situation and recover strength. As he neared the island, a rapid channel still intervened, rendering the attempt to land very hazardous. He paused for a moment; and then with all his strength, darted across and sprang from his boat-his foot slipped, and he fell backward into the rapid current. With the most consummate coolness and skill, he retained his grasp on the boat, sprang in, and seizing his oars, brought up under the lee of the little island. Still the great labour and hazard of the undertaking remained to be overcome. Robinson proved equal to the task. Taking his companion on board in the same careful and deliberate manner, though at infinitely greater hazard and labour, they effected a safe landing upon Goat Island. There the spectators assembled to give them a cordial greeting. A scene of great excitement ensued. The boat was drawn upon the bank, and by acclamation a collection was taken up on the spot for Chapin and his noblehearted deliverer. It was generously made, and thankfully
received; but the reflection to Robinson that he has rescued a fellow-creature under such circumstances, will be to his generous heart a much richer and more lasting reward. Robinson and Chapin were placed in the boat by the spectators and carried in triumph, to the village.
VILLAGE OF NIAGARA FALLS.-NUMBER OF VISITORS.
THE Country in the immediate vicinity of the Falls on both sides of the river, presents many powerful attractions for a permanent residence. For salubrity of air and healthfulness of climate, it yields to no spot in the United States. Here,
The very soul of music in her looks,
The latitude here is forty-three degrees six minutes north, and the longitude two degrees six minutes west from Washington. The winters are generally much milder than in New England, owing, as supposed, to the action of the two neighbouring lakes, that lie on either side.
In a pamphlet published in London in the year 1834, written by Robert Burford, Esq., who spent the summer and autumn of 1832, in taking a panoramic view of the Falls, it is stated that this place is "without all question, the most healthful of any on the continent of North America. The heat of summer can there be borne with pleasure, while at the same time, the annoyance of musquitoes and other insects is unknown. Various are the conjectures whence arises the remarkable salubrity of this region; but the most natural is, that the agitation of the surrounding air produced by the tremendous Falls, combines with the elevation and dryness of the soil, and absence of swamps, to produce this happy result."
In the summer of 1832, when the cholera raged in all the
villages around, as Buffalo, Lockport, Lewiston, &c., not a single case occurred here. Again, when this disease visited many villages in the vicinity, in the summer of 1834, this place was wholly exempt.
The village of Niagara Falls on the American side, formerly called Manchester, contains about 500 inhabitants.
There are two spacious hotels in the village, the Eagle and the Cataract, which will accommodate a large number of permanent guests. The latter is kept by Gen. P. Whitney & Sons, favourably known here in the business. Gen. Whitney has been engaged in this business for nearly twenty years. The Eagle Hotel, formerly kept by T. W. Fanning, and now by Messrs. C. B. Griffen & Co. A most splendid hotel was commenced by the celebrated BENJAMIN RATHBUN, in the year 1836, and the foundation and basement were completed, when the astounding development of that person's affairs rendered it necessary for him to assign all his property, and all operations on the building in question ceased. It is hoped, however, that the building will be completed by the present proprietors. The village also contains a Presbyterian Church, and a "Union House," for the use of all other denominations when they choose to come to it.It has a Paper Mill, a Flouring Mill, and a few Mechanics' shops; and there is an opportunity of using water here to an unlimited extent.
Canal boats and sloops come from the Erie Canal and the Lake to Porter's Store-house, a short distance above the Falls. There are three railroads now finished, which terminate at Niagara Falls. One from Buffalo, distant twentytwo miles one from Lockport, and one from Lewiston. Stage-coaches run from the Falls in all directions, and the mail passes regularly twice every day. The roads from Buffalo, Lewiston, and Lockport are now very good; equal to any in this region, and afford to travellers many delightful views of the river, the Falls, and the rapids ;—especially as the road from Buffalo to Lewiston passes very near the bank of the river the whole distance. The steamboat Red Jacket
also runs daily from Buffalo to the landing, two miles above the Falls, and thence across to Chippewa, and returns daily by the same route. This is a perfectly safe and very pleasant route to the Falls. At Lewiston, seven miles below, steamboats from Lake Ontario are daily bringing and receiving passengers. Near Lewiston commences the celebrated Ridge Road,--formerly, without doubt, a sand-bank on the margin of Lake Ontario,—and runs east to Rochester, and thence nearly to Oswego, a distance of about 140 miles. It runs parallel with the lake, from six to ten miles distant, is from forty to eighty yards wide, thirty feet higher than the contiguous land, and 139 feet higher than the lake. It is an excellent road at all seasons of the year.
The number of visitors at the Falls has of late years been from twelve to fifteen thousand annually, and the number is every year increasing. On the occasion of sending the Michigan over the Falls, some years since, from thirty to fifty thousand persons were supposed to be here together; and when the Superior was sent over, fifteen thousand. The fashionable, the opulent, and the learned, congregate here from the principal cities of the country; from the Southern and Western States, South America, the West Indies, the Canadas, all parts of Europe, and indeed from all countries.
Exiled monarchs, foreign ambassadors, whigs, tories, radicals, royalists, naval and military officers, governors, judges, lawyers, senators, &c., with a good proportion of female worthies, assemble here to view these indescribable works of God. One of these last, during a visit here in the summer of 1834, penned the following beautiful lines, which are worthy of being preserved as a memorial of female worth and genius.
FLOW on for ever, in thy glorious robe