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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Welcome to Whirlpool State Park

 
 
Welcome to Whirlpool State Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
1. Welcome to Whirlpool State Park Marker
Inscription. Established in 1928, Whirlpool State Park's 109 acres support a variety of flora and fauna and provide opportunities for cycling, fishing, hiking bird watching, and picnicking. Approximately three miles of hiking trails include a rim trail with many scenic overlooks and spectacular views of the Niagara Gorge, Whirlpool, and Whirlpool Rapids. To reach the trails, descend the stone stairway located downriver from Whirlpool Point.

In the mid-1850s, Samuel DeVeaux, a prominent local citizen, built a school for orphans and destitute children on land adjacent to present-day Whirlpool State Park. The school collected fees from visitors who came to DeVeaux (today's Whirlpool) Point to view the Whirlpool and rapids. In 1858, part of the property was sold to the Buttery Family. Image courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library.

Buttery Elevators
In the 1850s, J. M. Buttery owned a nearby sawmill from which visitors could view the rapids atop a rickety stairway. When the site became a popular tourist destination, Buttery abandoned his mill and built a newer and safer stairway. In 1869, he constructed the Buttery Elevators along the whirlpool Rapids. The property was eventually sold and a new set of elevators was built in 1893. In 1899, a windstorm blew down the original elevator building, and a rockslide almost completely

Welcome to Whirlpool State Park Marker and Tourist Shelter image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
2. Welcome to Whirlpool State Park Marker and Tourist Shelter
destroyed the machinery in the newer elevator building. In 1901, the city of Niagara Falls burned the newer elevator building in a controlled fire.

In this 1895 view of the Buttery Elevators, the newer elevator building is on the left, and the building with the original elevators is on the right. In the foreground, workers are constructing the bed for the Great Gorge Route trolley line. Image courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library.

An electric trolley line ran in the Niagara Gorge from 1895 to 1935. The first trolleys traveled on the New York side between Niagara Falls and Lewiston. In 1899, trolleys began crossing over the newly opened Lewiston-Queenston Suspension Bridge into Canada, following the gorge rim to Niagara Falls, Ontario, and crossing back to New York on the Upper Steel Arch Bridge. Today, many of the Niagara Gorge trails follow the Great Gorge Route once traveled by the trolleys. Image courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library.

The aero car, designed by a Spanish engineer, was built in 1913 by the Niagara Spanish Aero Car Company. It opened to the public in 1916. Suspended on six interlocking steel cables, it travels between two points on the Canadian side of the gorge, offering bird's-eye views of the whirlpool.

The narrow width of the gorge, the rapid descent of the river (52 feet in less than one mile) and the volume of water (100,000

Whirlpool Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
3. Whirlpool Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids Bridge
cubic feet per second) all contribute to the 22 mph speed of the water at the Whirlpool Rapids. Thirty-five feet deep, the Class VI Whirlpool Rapids are unnavigable and are considered among the most dangerous in the world.
 
Location. 43° 7.209′ N, 79° 3.858′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker can be reached from Niagara Scenic Parkway (New York State Route 957A). Click for map. Marker is located in Whirlpool State Park where the walkway to the front of the tourist shelter meets the parking lot. The park is accessed from the Niagara Scenic Parkway (nee: Robert Moses Parkway.). Marker is in this post office area: Niagara Falls NY 14303, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Niagara Gorge Natural History (within shouting distance of this marker); Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids (within shouting distance of this marker); Whirlpool Rapids (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eddy Basin (about 300 feet away); Niagara Spanish Aero Car (approx. mile away in Canada); Whirlpool Rapids Gorge (approx. 0.6 kilometers away in Canada); Thompson Point (approx. 0.6 kilometers away in Canada); The Inukshuk (approx. 0.8 kilometers away in Canada). Click for a list of all markers in Niagara Falls.
 
Also see . . .
The Whirlpool image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
4. The Whirlpool

1. Whirlpool State Park - New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. There is no fee for the park. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 

2. DeVeaux School - Niagara County Historical Society. The grounds of the school are now DeVeaux Woods State Park, across the Robert Moses Parkway from Whirlpool State Park. A walkway connects the parks. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 

3. The Buttery Elevator - Niagara Frontier.com. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
4. The Niagara Gorge Belt Line - Niagara Frontier Chapter NRHS. A pictorial album of the trolley line. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.) 

5. Whirlpool Areo Car - Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 25, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. EducationEntertainmentRailroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016.
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