American Fall, From Canada.
Horseshoe Fall, From Below.
General View, From The American Side.
Horseshoe Fall, From Goat Island.
Niagara is too vast a subject for minute description; too great, in fact, to be at once appreciated. The very breadth of the colossal torrent at first makes both its height and fury less impressive. But to the lingering worshiper there comes a time when, as he views it, preferably from the side of Canada, Niagara's full sublimity reveals itself. He pictures to himself the sources of supply that lie beyond it, - fit reservoirs for earth's grandest waterfall, - those unique inland seas - Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie - which have together an area of ninety thousand square miles, and hold one half of all the fresh water on our globe. Then, as his power of apprehension rises to the measure of the scene, he realizes the length of its two glorious crests; one of which, covering the Horseshoe curve, exceeds three thousand feet, while the straight edge of the American fall is nearly half as long; so that the entire precipice, over which nine thousand tons of water are falling every second, is more than three quarters of a mile in extent, and, on an average, one hundred and sixty feet above the spray-veiled caldron at its base. He tries to conjure up a vision of the scene presented at the evening of the Glacial Period, when, as the ice-cap of our northern h e m i-sphere hrank slowly backwa 1 toward the pole, and left this region bare, the mighty flood, diverted in a new direction, first leaped from an escarpment seven miles distant from its present plunge.
American Fall, From Goat Island.
Horseshoe Fall And Sisters Islands, From Canada.
American Fall, From Below.
The Great Whirlpool.
He thinks, too, of the gradual recession of Niagara; as, century after century, it has retired from that primitive position through a profound gorge of its own creation, seven miles in length, and from two hundred to three hundred and fifty feet in depth, to where it falls to-day. Yet this is no more permanent a resting-place than any other point in the ravine which it has slowly cut out of the solid rock. It will undoubtedly keep on retreating, as steadily as in the past, for seventeen more miles, until the great task set before it in remote antiquity shall be accomplished, and the last bar rier between Lakes Erie and Ontario shall be worn away. What scenes may then take place when, at the crumbling of the final wall, the eastern end of Erie shall collapse, three hundred and twenty-six feet higher than Ontario ! Will man then be upon the earth to witness the catastrophe? The retrogression of Niagara has not been uniform, nor is it now the same on either side. The average rate in forty-eight years has been, on the American shore, about six inches annually; on the Canadian bank, two feet, two inches, and in the centre of the Horseshoe twice as much. The quality of the rock, the relative volume of water, the elevation or subsidence of the neighboring earth-crust, and many other geologic factors render it difficult to calculate the centuries that have come and gone since the formation of the falls, or to predict the number that must still elapse before the limit of their solemn march is reached and with it the triumphal termination of possibly forty thousand years of slow erosion.
The Whirlpool Rapids.
The Rapids Above The Falls.
Rock Of Ages Cave Of The Winds.