Niagara Falls Stereo Cards

Observation Towers

Terrapin Tower, Niagara Falls.  There is a small group of people at the base of the tower

Terrapin Tower from Goat Island

Terrapin Tower

Terrapin Tower was an observation point built on the American side of the Niagara River near the brink of the Horseshoe Falls.  There was a boardwalk from Goat Island which was used to access the tower.  The boardwalk was built in 1827, followed by the tower in 1833.  It was a great success and provided a magnificent view of the Falls.  The tower was demolished in 1873 after the owners decided they no longer wanted it.  The boardwalk remained in place into the next century.  It is unknown whether the boardwalk was dismantled or simply washed away over time. 

Street's Pagoda 

Thomas Clark Street built an observation tower around 1860 on Cedar Island, located at the crest of the Horseshoe Falls near Table Rock.  The wooden tower had a lattice-work design and was supported by a two-storey building at its base.  The Prince of Wales visited Street's pagoda on his visit to the area in September, 1860.  The tower was too far away from the Falls to attract many tourits.  In 1887 the island was sold to the government and the pagoda was demolished.   Cedar Island became part of the mainland around 1904 when water was diverted from the area as part of the construction of a powerhouse for the Canadian Niagara Power Company.  

Glass stereo card of Thomas Clark Street's pagoda tower on Cedar Island, ca. 1861

Tower near Prospect Point

In 1888, a tall, steel tower was built on top of the Tower Hotel on the American shore near Prospect Point.  It was known as the Moose Tower Observatory.  There were three different viewing platforms at different heights.   Despite the tower's success, it was dismantled after a court battle between the tower's owners and the neighbouring museum's owners.  Ice and snow would accumulate on the steel frame of the tower and fall onto the museum's skylight, causing damage.  Eventually it was moved to St. Louis and reassembled for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.  

Niagara Falls from a distant tower near Prospect Point, U.S.A., 1902