From Yahoo! Malaysia News:
Niagara Falls had been a tourist destination for decades before 1901, but it wasn’t until Oct. 24 of that year that the first person decided to ride a barrel over the falls.
Former schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor made the plunge on her 63rd birthday, hoping for fame and fortune. Taylor, whose husband had died in the Civil War, had traveled around the country taking various jobs before eventually settling on the barrel scheme as a way to avoid poverty in her old age.
From the Detroit Free Press:
Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to survive a barrel ride over Niagara Falls on Oct. 24, 1901.
The 63-year-old Bay City teacher used a self-designed barrel that was 4 1/2 feet high and approximately 3 feet in diameter, with a leather harness and cushions for protection, according to the New York Times story from the following day. Thousands of people watched her daredevil drop over Horseshoe Falls, which left her in shock and with a 3-inch cut on her scalp and shoulder pain likely from the jerking.
From the Niagara Gazette:
Nik Wallenda’s walk across Niagara Falls will be a lot sweeter for local nonprofits, thanks to a special line of candy bars being produced in celebration of the history-making event.
Mary Ann Hess, owner of Niagara’s Honeymoon Sweets, is debuting new line of daredevil chocolate bars to benefit local organizations, including the Oakwood Cemetery, the final resting place for several Falls daredevils, including Annie Edson Taylor.
The candy bars, which Hess is creating a separate company called Niagara Daredevil Chocolates, will help showcase those throughout local history who have done the extraordinary. “I want to have our past help support our future,” Hess said.
From Niagara This Week:
As a highly successful fantasy writer, Chris Van Allsburg knows first-hand that the only limitation on a great story is one’s imagination.
But when it comes to dabbling in reality, the renowned children’s novelist and illustrator had to peer over the edge and simply hope for the best with his latest project — Queen of the Falls.
“I was worried at first, but Annie’s life was very interesting,” said Van Allsburg, who grew up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, and developed a fascination with Niagara Falls during the early 1970s.
The “Annie” in question was Annie Edson Taylor — a 63-year-old charm school teacher and widow who became the first and only woman to complete a solo run over the falls back in 1901.
Cool! Chris Van Allsburg also wrote Jumanji and The Polar Express. Obviously both were made into movies. It’d be cool to have a “popular” movie about something in/around Niagara Falls…