Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids
In 1861, Maid of the Mist II, a famous sight-seeing boat that carried people close to the falls, was sold to a Montreal company with the stipulation that the boat be delivered to Lake Ontario. Captain Joel Robinson and crew navigated the boat through the Whirlpool Rapids to the docks in Queenston, Ontario, completing the first planned trip through these rapids. From Karl S. Brong, The Niagara Daredevils (1955).
Captain Webb in Whirlpool from Greenhill and Mahoney, Niagara (c. 1883).
Captain Matthew Webb was the first person known to swim across the English Channel, died while attempting to swim the Whirlpool Rapids in 1883. From Karl S. Brong, The Niagara Daredevils (1955).
Martha E. Wagenfuhrer, known as the "Maid of the Niagara Falls Rapids," was the first woman to conquer the Whirlpool Rapids alone in a barrel. Martha planned her trip for September 6,
In 1886, Carlisle D. Graham was the first person to ride through the Whirlpool Rapids in a barrel. He repeated this stunt four more times, once with his head outside the barrel. This left his partially deaf from the waves pounding on his ears.
Great Gorge Route trolley line (1895-1935) along the Whirlpool Rapids section of the Niagara Gorge. Courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library.
Location. 43° 7.213′ N, 79° 3.878′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker can be reached from Robert Moses Parkway. Marker is located on the left side of the rear deck of the tourist shelter in Whirlpool State Park. Access to Whirlpool State Park is from the Niagara Scenic Parkway (nee: Robert Moses Parkway). There is no entrance fee. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Niagara Falls NY 14303, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Niagara Gorge Natural History (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to Whirlpool State Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Eddy Basin (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Whirlpool Rapids (about 300 feet away); Niagara Spanish Aero Car (approx. ¼ mile away in Canada); Whirlpool Rapids Gorge
Also see . . .
1. Whirlpool State Park - New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. (Submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Daredevils of the Niagara Frontier. (Submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. Niagara Gorge Railroad - Wikipedia. Also see Thompson, Gordon J., "The Niagara Gorge Belt Line," Niagara Frontier Chapter, National Railway Histrical Society, 2000. (Submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
4. Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. Current owner-operator of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge (Submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 263 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.