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

Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids

 
 
Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
1. Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker
Inscription. The Whirlpool Rapids provided the ideal location for daredevils to pursue their riskly feats during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They challenged these raging waters by swimming, riding in barrels, and navigating boats through them; some paid with their lives.

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, 1901, the same day that President McKinley rode through the gorge on the trolley line.

In 1886, Carlisle D. Graham was the first person to ride through the Whirlpool Rapids in a barrel.

Wide View of Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
2. Wide View of Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker
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. Touch for map. 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. 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 (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. mile away in Canada); Whirlpool Rapids Gorge (approx. half a kilometer away

Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker and Deck for Tourist Shelter image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
3. Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids Marker and Deck for Tourist Shelter
This is the rear deck or porch of the tourist shelter. the marker is at the far end of the deck. The back of the Niagara Gorge Natural History marker is closer.
in Canada); Thompson Point (approx. half a kilometer away in Canada); The Inukshuk (approx. 0.8 kilometers away in Canada). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niagara Falls.
 
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.) 
 
Categories. EntertainmentRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Whirlpool Rapids image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, June 13, 2014
4. Whirlpool Rapids
Whirpool Rapids Bridge is in the distance.
 
 
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 213 times since then and 21 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.
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