Tag: annie edson taylor

    Oct. 24, 1901: First barrel ride over Niagara Falls

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    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.

    This week in Michigan history: Bay City teacher first person to survive Niagara barrel drop

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    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.

    Daredevil candy bars to benefit area nonprofits

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    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.

    Novel peers over the edge

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    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…

    Bay City woman’s story as the first to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel told in new book

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    From MLive.com:

    Annie Edson Taylor left her boarding house room in Bay City in October 1901 to take the ultimate bumpy ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

    The extraordinary achievement is told by East Grand Rapids-native Chris Van Allsburg, in his new book, “Queen of the Falls.”

    “I read about her in the early 1970s in an old Sports Illustrated magazine I spotted on the windowsill of a factory I worked in during the summer,” Van Allsburg, 61, recalled in a phone interview from his Providence, R.I., home with the Grand Rapids Press. “The story was about people who went over Niagara Falls, and I was amazed the first person to do it was a 62-year-old woman.”

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