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In crossing the river, not the least danger need be apprehended; it is a perfectly safe and most delightful excursion, and persons sometimes swim across without difficulty. The time occupied in crossing is ordinarily about eight minutes, and the ferriage is 183 cents, from May to November; and 25 cents from November to May. If you have trunks or other baggage to be transported from either side to the other, the ferryman will convey them safely, at a reasonable charge. The river is here 76 rods wide, and 250 feet deep.
Having crossed the river, you proceed up the bank by a carriage-road, at the head of which stands the Clifton House: here you can refresh yourself, and proceed towards the Table Rock; about half way between the Hotel and Table Rock, stands the very interesting Museum of Mr. Barnett, which visitors should by no means fail to visit. This gentleman (Mr. Barnett) has spent years in the collection of his museum, and an examination of its contents will amply prove that the time has not been spent uselessly. Proceed from the museum to Table Rock, where you will find a spiral staircase, from the foot of which you can pass 153 feet behind the sheet of water. This staircase is under the care of Mr. Starkey, who furnishes dresses and a guide for visitors who wish to go behind the sheet; he also keeps a reading-room, and a neat and inviting shop of refreshments. An examination of the Albums in the establishment of Mr. Starkey, will be found amusing, as well as interesting.
From Table Rock you have but one broad and imposing view of the whole Falls, and much of the scenery of the rapids and islands. It is generally conceded that this view, and that from the Terrapin Bridge, are the best, and combine more of the beautiful and sublime than can be obtained from any other point on either side of the river.
In ascending the bank from Table Rock to the Hotels, you have a fine and extensive view of the surrounding country, and can visit Lundy's Lane, Brock's Monument, &c., as you may have leisure or inclination.
If you arrive first on the Canada side, proceed directly to
Table Rock, and when satisfied with viewing the amazing scene there, both from above and below, and have visited all the other objects of interest, follow the path to the Ferry, cross to the other side, and then visit Goat Island, as directed above.
To those who wish the services of a living guide in their rambles and excursions, Mr. S. Hooker, on the American side, offers himself; his house is near the Eagle Hotel. From a residence of twenty-two years at the Falls, he is enabled to conduct visitors to all the objects of interest, in the vicinity, and to give them much valuable information.
NIAGARA RIVER, ITS SOURCES, AND ISLANDS.
NIAGARA river, upon which the Falls are situated, receives the water of all the upper lakes, as Erie, St. Clair, Huron, Michigan, Superior, and a number of smaller ones. The most distant source of the Niagara is probably the river St. Louis, which rises 1,250 miles northwest of the Falls, and 150 miles west of Lake Superior; it is 1,200 feet above the level of the ocean, and falls 551 feet before it reaches the lake.
Lake Superior is 459 miles long, by 100 wide, and 900 feet deep it is discharged into Lake Huron by the Strait St. Mary, 60 miles in length, making a descent of 45 feet. This lake receives the waters of about forty rivers. Lake Michigan is 300 miles by 50, and about 900 feet deep, and empties into Huron, through the Straits of Mackinac, 40 miles in length. Connected with Michigan on the southwest side, is Green Bay, 100 miles in length by about 20 in width. Lake Huron is 218 miles by 180, and 900 feet deep, and is discharged into Lake Erie, through the rivers St. Clair and Detroit, 90 miles, making a descent of 31 feet. Lake Erie is 290 miles by 63, and 120 feet deep, and 564 feet
above the level of the sea. It empties itself through Niagara river, 35 miles in length, into Lake Ontario, making a descent of 334 feet, viz: From the lake to Schlosser, 12 feet; thence down the rapids, 52 feet; the perpendicular falls, 164 feet; from the Falls to Lewiston, 104 feet; and thence to Lake Ontario, 2 feet.
Lake Ontario is 180 miles, by 31, and 500 feet deep, and discharges itself through the river St. Lawrence, into the Atlantic Ocean, 710 miles distant.
The four inland seas above the Falls-as the great lakes may properly be called-with the hundreds of rivers, great and small, that flow into them, cover a surface of 150,000 square miles, and contain nearly half the fresh water on the surface of the globe. From these sources of the Niagara, some idea may be formed of the immense quantity of water, that is constantly pouring over the Falls.
Niagara river, as it flows from Lake Erie, is about threefourths of a mile in width, and from twenty to forty feet deep; for three miles it has a rapid current, and then it becomes calm and smooth till within one mile of the Falls.
"So calm ;- -the waters scarcely seem to stray,
And yet they glide like happiness away."
Five miles from the lake, the river begins to expand till it becomes more than eight miles in width, measured across Grand Island, and embraces, before it reaches the Falls, about forty islands. Of these the largest are Grand and Navy. Navy Island, belonging to Canada, contains 304 acres of good land, and terminates near Chippewa point. This island has acquired some notoriety in consequence of being the resort, during the winter of 1837-8, of a large body of men, headed by William L. Mackenzie, whose object was a revolution in the government of Upper Canada. Batteries were erected upon the island, and considerable powder was burned in exchanging compliments between the island and Chippewa ; but as far as we have learned, but one man was ever killed on the island. It was finally evacuated some time in
January, 1838, and has since remained quietly in the possession of the British Government.
Grand Island commences five miles from the lake, is twelve miles in length, measured around its edge, and from three to six in width, and terminates three miles above the Falls, containing 17,384 acres. The land is well timbered, rich, and productive. As the deepest channel of the river, forming the boundary line, runs on the west side, this island, until recently, belonged to the State of New-York; but in the year 1833, a company from Boston purchased nearly the whole of the island, and have erected upon it, near the site of the famous Jewish city, Ararat, (projected in 1825, by Major Noah, of New-York,) a steam grist-mill, and a sawmill, 150 feet square, containing 15 sets or gangs of saws. This mill is intended to furnish ship-stuff of every description, from 20 to 70 feet in length, and is probably one of the most extensive establishments of its kind in America. The name of their village is "White Haven," situated nearly opposite Tonawanda, where the Erie Canal locks into the Niagara river. It is approached by a ferry across the river, here 100 rods wide, and has increased, since November 1833, from one solitary family to more than fifty; it has also many workshops, a store, a school-house, a commodious wharf several hundred feet long, and a spacious dock made of piles, for storing and securing floating timber.
In July, 1759, during the old French war, two large French vessels, in danger of being taken by the British, were burnt and sunk in what is called Burnt Ship Bay, near the lower end of this island. Some parts of them are still visible; and some years since, a party of men, by raking the. river at that place, secured many tons of iron.
Among the other islands of the river, are Bird Island, between Buffalo and Fort Erie; Squaw Island, containing 131 acres, opposite Black Rock; Strawberry Island, containing about 100 acres; Beaver Island, of 30 acres; Rattlesnake Island, of 48 acres; Tonawanda Island, on which s the beautiful mansion of Stephen White, Esq., contain
ing 69 acres; Cayuga Island, near the New York shore, four miles above the Falls, containing about 100 acres ; Buck Horn Island, near the lower end of Grand and near Navy Islands, containing 146 acres ; and a number of smaller islands, in and immediately above the rapids, besides Goat Island, &c., hereafter to be described.
One feature in the Niagara river somewhat peculiar is, that neither the snows of winter, nor the evaporation of summer, neither rains nor drought, materially affect it; its waters flow on, full and clear, perpetually the same; except, as has long been observed, they have a small gradual rise and fall about once in seven years. The cause of this is unknown, but is undoubtedly to be sought in something affecting the upper lakes. Indeed, it has often been asserted by travellers, that the lakes have septennial fluxes and refluxes; it is also asserted by some that they have small diurnal tides. This, however, may reasonably be doubted.
RECOLLECTIONS OF A TRIP TO THE FALLS OF NIAGARA IN
BY WILLIAM BARHAM.
THOUGH I Confess that I have no great passion for travelling, still I believe myself to be one of those who do not mind putting themselves to a certain amount of trouble, inconvenience, and expense, in order to gain an object which they consider to be not only attainable, but desirable. For several years previous to my visit to America, I had cherished an increasing wish to behold some of the gigantic phenomena with which America abounds. Among these, the Falls of NIAGARA appeared an object of such peculiar interest, that as I was entirely disengaged at the time, I made up my mind to leave England by a ship bound for New York from London. In accordance with this resolution, I took a berth in the Victoria packet-ship, Captain Morgan: there were