Niagara Falls/Niagara Power

Industry at Niagara


By the end of the 19th century, industrial and power development occurred rapidly in Niagara.  Numerous mills that used water from the river lined the top of the gorge.   The unsightly landscape that this created prompted citizens on both the American and Canadian sides of the border to push for the preservation of Niagara Falls and the regulation of industrial and power development.  A collection of magazine articles on this topic can be found in the Niagara Falls/Niagara Power collection.   An article from this collection addresses the issue of water diversion, stating that:

"Niagara Falls are already ruined!  Already enough water rights have been granted by New York State and Canada to divert all the water which now, falling over both the American and the Canadian falls, makes the great cataract one of the natural wonders of the world.  If the capitalists and promoters who now hold franchises were all to establish plants, the entire flow of Niagara river would be diverted into underground channels; and the mighty cliff over which the torrent now pours in resistless grandeur would be left rugged and bald and dry".

An article about the industrialzation of Niagara Falls, 1906.  The author states that the American Falls is in much more imminent danger than the Canadian.

The article discusses in detail the political process of procuring the area around Niagara Falls for preservation, 1886.

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