Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Three Sisters Islands
These picturesque islands have also been known as the "Moss Islands" because fine growths of moss once covered their rocks. The smooth surfaces of the rocks and the great number of potholes are clues that these islands were once submerged beneath the rapids. In recent years, the islands have increased in size because of the diversion of water upriver for the hydroelectric power plants.
The Three Sisters Islands were named for the daughters of Parkhurst Whitney, a local businessman and a decorated War of 1812 veteran. In the spring of 1816, when ice jams in the shallow rapids created natural bridges between the islands, Whitney took his three daughters on a walk out to the farthest island. Whitney was so proud of the success of their adventure, that he convinced Augustus Porter, the islands' new owner, to name them after his daughters. The nearest was named Asenath, the next, Angeline, and the farthest Celinda Eliza. The island adjacent to Celinda Eliza is called "Little Brother," after the Whitney daughters' brother Solon.
In 1829, Francis Abbott, a young Englishman, came to Niagara Falls on a visit and was so taken by the beauty of the area that he decided to stay. He took up residence in a small cabin on the mainland close to the American Falls. There he lived as a hermit, spending his days writing and painting.
[Photo captions, from top left around to top right, read]
Parkhurst Whitney • Bridge to 1st Sister Island. "Hermit's Cascade" is in the background. • Asenath Whitney • Suspension bridge to 2nd Sister Island • Angeline Whitney • Goat Island and Three Sisters Islands looking from Canada, ca. 1868 postcard.
Images courtesy of Niagara Falls Public Library.
Erected by Niagara Falls State Park.
Location. 43° 4.773′ N, 79° 3.945′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is at the intersection of Goat Island Road and Three Sisters Island Parking Area, on the left when traveling west on Goat Island Road. Touch for map. Marker is on Goat Island, part of Niagara Falls State Park. 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. Goat Island Flora (here, next to this marker); The Niagara Portage (approx. ¼ mile away); The Parting of the Waters (approx. ¼ mile away); The Power of the American Rapids (approx. 0.3 miles away); World's First Hydroelectric Power Plant Goat Island (approx. 0.3 miles away); Nikola Tesla (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Power of Niagara (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niagara Falls.
Also see . . .
1. Three Sisters Islands. (Submitted on August 4, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of America's Oldest State Park. (Submitted on August 4, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Environment • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on November 20, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on August 4, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.