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Father Louis Hennepin
The first eye-witness description of Niagara Falls was written by Father Louis Hennepin, a Recollect priest
from the Spanish Netherlands, was the first white man to visit the Falls of Niagara in the winter of 1678-1679.
In 1683, Father Hennepin's account of his visit was published in "Description de la Louisiane". This similar
account was again published in 1697 in Hennepin's own book entitled "Novelle decouverte d'un tres grand
pays situe´ dans l'Amerique" which was published at Utrecht with dedication to William III of England.
The first English translation was published in England in 1698.
Hennepin gave this brief account:
"...four leagues from Lake Frontenac there is an incredible Cataract of water-fall which has no equal.."
"....Betwixt the Lake Ontario and Erie`, there is a vast and prodigious Cadence of Water which falls down after
a surprizing and astonishing manner, insomuch that the Universe does not afford it's parallel. Tis true, Italy and Suedland boast some such Things; but we may well say they are but soory Patterns, when compar'd to this of which we now speak. At the foot of this horrible Precipice, we meet with the River Niagara, which is not above a quarter of a League broad, but is wonderfully deep in some places. It is so rapid above this Descent, that it violently hurries down the wild Beasts while endeavouring to pass it to feed on the other side, they not being able to withstand the force of its Current, which inevitably casts them above Six hundred foot high...."
"....'This wonderful Downfal, is compounded of two great Cross-streams of Water, and two Falls, with an Isle sloping along the middle of it. the Waters which fall from this horrible Precipice, do foam and boyl after the most hideous manner imaginable, making an outrageous Noise, more terrible than that of Thunder; for when the Wind blows out of the South, their dismal roaring may be heard more than Fifteen Leagues off...."
"....'The River Niagara having thrown itself down this incredible Precipice, continues its impetuous course for two Leagues together, to the great Rock above-mention'd [Queenston Heights], with an inexpressible rapidity: But having past that, its impetuosity relents, gliding along more gently for two other Leagues, till it arrive at Lake Frontenac (Lake Ontario)...."
The Red Coach Inn is not only a unique historic site with a fascinating history, it also provides the ideal Niagara
When The Red Coach Inn, a Niagara Falls USA historic hotel and B&B, opened its doors for business on August
30, 1923, Niagara Falls had finally gained a hostelry befitting its rank as the honeymoon capital of the world.
Situated near the center of town overlooking the spectacular Upper Rapids, the Inn was an imposing structure,
three and one-half stories high, and built in the architectural style of the old English Tudor period. The owners,
William Schoellkopf and Charles Peabody, spared no expense or effort in recreating the atmosphere and style
of the Bell Inn in Finedon, England. History says the Old Bell "was granted a license during the reign of the
Saxon King Harold and Queen Editha who often rested there when stag hunting."
Above the fireplace in the Grill Room is a painting of General LaFayette's famous red carriage, for which the
Inn is named, by Buffalo artist A. Rafael Beck. The scene depicts the greeting of LaFayette at the Eagle
Tavern, which was located across the street in the early nineteenth century.
Maid of the Mist:
1846: The Maiden Voyage.
Before this date, rowboats ferried passengers across the Niagara River below the Falls. By 1846, however, entrepreneurs decided a bigger craft could profit by transporting people, luggage, mail and cargo. So, the first Maid of the Mist steamboat, large enough to carry a stagecoach and horses, was christened. In 1848, construction of a suspension bridge curtailed business and the Maid of the Mist was re-branded as a sightseeing adventure that still operates to this day.
1861: Captain Robinson’s Legendary Ride.
Facing financial troubles and fearing the outbreak of the Civil War in the U.S., then Maid of the Mist owner W.O. Buchanon sold the boat at auction. A Montreal firm agreed to buy it if the boat was delivered to Lake Ontario. After the most seasoned sailors refused to navigate the Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole Rapids, three miles of the world’s wildest waters, the Maid’s own captain, Joel B. Robinson, took the boat on a wild ride. The boat and crew were practically swallowed alive before arriving safely at Queenston.