From the Niagara Falls Review:
History came alive Sunday as Sherman Zavitz, the city’s official historian, hosted a walking tour of Chippawa.
Before a crowd of 80 people, Zavitz said the area was first mentioned 339 years ago, even before there was a town.
On Dec. 7, 1678, Louis Hennepin, a missionary and explorer, became the first European to view the mighty Niagara Falls.
“He was awed by the spectacle,” Zavitz said. “He later wrote in his diary the falls were a vast and prodigious cadence of water falling down in an astonishing manner.”
That night, Hennepin and his company set up camp alongside the Welland River, in an area now known as Kingsbridge Park.
The walking tour focused on the history of the area on both sides of the river, commonly referred to as Chippawa Creek.
From the Niagara Gazette:
Since Franciscan monk and explorer Louis Hennepin became the first European to encounter the “Falls at Niagara” in 1658 we could call him the first “tourist,” but let’s start in the early 19th century. We will begin around the time of the construction of the Erie Canal on July 4, 1817 in Rome, New York, which opened the door to travel (and commerce) across the state of New York. Read More…
At another store, I recently saw this book from 1978 called Canada which includes an introduction by Harry J Boyle (apparently he was a famous CBC broadcaster). The book has information about different parts of Canada and there was a section about Niagara Falls:
Niagara Falls, where the mighty Niagara River plunges over the escarpment into a deep gorge, is one of the world’s most spectacular shows of natural beauty. The Canadian Horseshoe Falls measures 671 metres across and are an impressive 54 metres high. First described by a priest who travelled with La Salle, the Rev. Louis Hennepin, the falls have attracted honeymooners, stunt-men and tourists since the early 1800’s. The river also provides, at this point, much of the hydro-electric power for Ontario and New York.
This shot of the Falls is great, as the only building you see is the Tower Hotel. There were no other big buildings at all.