From the Buffalo News:
On this, the 150th anniversary of the day Bill Evans’ great-great-grandfather surprised people by steering the Maid of the Mist through the wild rapids in the gorge below Niagara Falls, the old captain’s fame has faded.
While Evans is not sure how the man he grew up hearing about at the Sunday dinner table affected his life, he’s proud of the family history that local buffs want to keep alive: the amazing feat by Joel R. Robinson, the man known as the “Hero of the Rapids.”
“He was fearless, in a sense,” Evans, 66, said of his ancestor. “It was just like this Evel Knievel kind of thing. For the money, they were willing to risk their lives to do that for their families. That’s about all I can say. It’s amazing that they got through it.”