ONE Ice and water A prodigious cadence "The most awful scene" TWO Augustus Porter's sylvan bower William Forsyth's folly The jumper and the hermit THREE "That Enchanted Ground" The father of geology Spanning the gorge John Roebling's bridge FOUR Miss Bird "does" Niagara Frankenstein's monster Mr Church's masterpiece FIVE The Prince of Manila Farini the Great Farini the flirt The legacy of Niagara Into the maelstrom SIX The cave of the forty thieves Private greed A ramble on Goat Island Saving Niagara from itself Casimir Growski to the rescue SEVEN Harnessing the waters Tesla The golden age Utopian dreams EIGHT Arthur Midleigh's folly The ice bridge Annie Fame and fortune or instant death Aftermath NINE The Canadian connection The people's power The Second Battle of Niagara The red-headed hero The soaring ambitions of Adam Beck TEN The riverman's return The Richest Man in Canada The end of the Honeymoon Young Red's last ride ELEVEN The witch's end of fairyland The park man The river takes over The fighting Tuscarora TWELVE The miracle Blackout Drying up the Falls THIRTEEN Love Canal makes the news The mother instinct The long crusade of Lois Gibbs Taking hostages AFTERWORD ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX
The first Europeans to see Niagara Falls were struck with an awe akin to terror, but with the passage of a couple of centuries the site came to be regarded as the ultimate symbol of God's creative power. Even Charles Dickens, who didn't think much of what he found on this side of the Atlantic, was deeply moved. In the 19th century, the American side of the falls became a Mecca for honeymooners, first luring the rich and then the middle class as well. Later in that century, the unparalleled opportunity for hydroelectric power, combined with the development of alternating current, which meant that electricity could be sent over long distances, brought a wealth of industrial development. Canadian historian Berton (The Wild Frontier) tells dozens of absorbing tales about the region and those who passed through it: the "funambulist" Blondin, who danced on a tightrope high above the chasm; John Roebling, better known for the Brooklyn Bridge than for the one he built to span the Niagara River; the adventurers and crackpots who went over the falls in barrels; the lengthy struggle to close the Love Canal toxic waste dump. He tells them all superbly, aided by essential maps and a few reproductions of posters advertising some of the more bizarre stunts. (Jan.)
"Entertaining. . . . Berton brings to life the adventurers and
dreamers, visionaries and industrialists, who over centuries
have been drawn to the Falls." -- "Maclean's"
"From the Trade Paperback edition."