Niagara Falls thrills visitors with a constant flow of wonder, but have you ever imagined a time when the Falls were not technically … the Falls? Believe it or not, it happened! In 1969, the iconic Falls transformed from thundering cascades to a silent cliff face over the Niagara Gorge when the mighty waters stopped flowing for the first time in some 12,000 years.
The epic moment of history dates back to 1965 when the local Niagara Gazette reported that Niagara Falls and its status as a tourism wonder were in serious danger. This was all due to millennia of erosion along the Falls which, together with significant rockfalls in previous decades, had caused a pile of colossal boulders (known as a talus), to gather at its base. Totaling 3.5 million cubic feet and scaling up to ten stories high, at some points along the gorge the rubble actually halved the height of the America Falls. Worried that the natural wonder could gradually deteriorate — and eventually become a series of rapids — the newspaper prompted a campaign for action.