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Horseshoe Falls in Winter, Niagara Falls, n.d.

Niagara Falls. Old Terrapin Tower and Horseshoe Falls.
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A10401
 
Document Description
Horseshoe Falls and the old Terrapin Tower at Niagara Falls in winter, n.d.
 
Questions
What do you think was the purpose of the tower in this photograph?
How did people reach the tower in the middle of the river?
Do you think this is a good place to build a tower? Why or why not?
How would this photograph look different if it had been taken at a different time of year?
Would you want to walk on the snow and ice in this photograph? Why or why not?
Would you rather visit Niagara Falls in the winter or in the summer? Explain.
 
Historical Challenges
This photograph is undated. Research using clues from the photograph to determine when this photograph might have been taken.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Why doesn't Niagara Falls freeze in winter? Of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls, which has frozen completely in the past? When did the freeze occur, and why?

 
Science: Can the flow of Niagara Falls be controlled? If so, is it controlled?
English Language Arts: You are the mayor of the city and have been told that people can no longer walk on the ice bridge. Write a letter to your townspeople explaining why they can no longer go out on the ice bridge.
 
Resources
Bauer, Marion Dane. Niagara Falls. New York: Aladdin, 2006. ISBN: 0689869452.
 
Berton, Pierre. Niagara: A History of the Falls. New York: Kodansha International, 1997. ISBN: 1568361548
Charles, Veronika Martenova. The Maiden of the Mist: A Legend of Niagara Falls. Toronto: Stoddart Kids, 2001. ISBN: 0773762078, 0773732977
Whitcraft, Melissa. The Niagara River. New York: Franklin Watts, 2001. ISBN: 0531119033
Vander Wilt, Dirk. Niagara Falls: A Guide for Tourists. New York: Parkscape Press, 2005. ISBN: 0976706415
 

Historical Context
While Niagara Falls does not freeze in winter, an ice bridge forms at the bottom of the falls with water flowing underneath.  It has been reported that up to eighty feet of thick ice has formed across the base of the falls in the past.  Until 1912, visitors were actually allowed to walk out on the ice bridge; however, on February 4, 1912, the ice broke up, and three tourists died.
 
Essential Question
How does geography influence human settlement patterns and economic systems?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the influence of geography on New York's settlement and economy.