Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1951 Niagara Falls Handy Guide

I picked up this 1951 Niagara Falls Handy Guide a few years ago somewhere, and always bring it up to the Falls with me for a touch of nostalgia. The guide does focus a little more on the American side (which I haven't visited in years), but does include a section on the Canadian side almost as an afterthought.

The book is interesting to me because it captures the Falls and the surrounding area at a time shortly before a lot of change began to take place.

Probably the most interesting thing in the guide is the photo of the American Falls (below).

Within a few years, its look would change forever – thanks to nature, as well as the United States and Canada eventually diverting most of the water to power plants on both sides of the river.

On July 28, 1954, the largest rockfall ever recorded at Niagara Falls took place near Prospect Point. A section that was 360 feet long and 130 feet wide fell, adding a considerable amount of debris below the Falls.

Compare the view above with a photo I shot during my recent visit (below). The difference is shocking.

The Handy Guide includes several other black and white photos showing the part of Prospect Point that would later tumble into the river gorge below.

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