Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Guest Blogger: Cathy Marie Buchanan & Giveaway

Yesterday, I reviewed THE DAY THE FALLS STOOD STILL by Cathy Marie Buchanan. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel for so many reasons, but the historical aspect of the story really stood out to me. I knew next to nothing about Niagara Falls, and I thought Ms. Buchanan definitely brought the area to life. The descriptions of Niagara Falls were so well done that the Falls actually became another character in this novel.

I am so glad to welcome Ms. Buchanan today. She has written a guest post (along with some photos) that includes facts about Niagara Falls. I hope you enjoy learning about it as much as I did. Of course, you should still read the book because there is so much more to this beautiful novel than just the historical information about the Falls.

10 Things You Never Knew About Niagara Falls
(unless you’ve read The Day the Falls Stood Still)


1. The amount of water tourists see flowing over Niagara Falls is usually only twenty-five percent of the natural flow. Seventy-five percent of the water is diverted for hydroelectricity.

The Queenston powerhouse, built during the book’s timeframe, was the largest hydroelectric development in the world when it opened in 1922. Eight thousand men toiled day and night to build the canal diverting water from the Niagara River to the Queenston powerhouse.


2. The book’s inspiration, legendary riverman William “Red” Hill (1888-1942), hauled 177 bodies from the river, rescued 29 people, and was awarded four lifesaving medals—the first at age seven. He also shot the lower rapids in a barrel. Three times.


3. Created in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest state park.


The park was the result of a sixteen-year, hard-fought battle by a group of prominent men led by Frederick Law Olmsted, most widely known for designing New York City’s Central Park.



4. In 1901, Annie Taylor became the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel.


5. Niagara Falls has long been a source of inspiration:

“I have seen the falls and I am all rapture and amazement.” —Henry James


“Niagara was at once stamped upon my heart, an Image of Beauty.” —Charles Dickens


“Oh, it is lovelier than it is great; it is like the Mind that made it: great, but so veiled in beauty that we gaze without terror.” —Harriet Beecher Stowe


6. The term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls.


With the falls standing still, the locals of Niagara Falls woke to quiet rather than the thunder of the river plummeting from the brink. With the cliff face of their falls and the riverbed bone dry, some ducked into churches, praying for their salvation with Armageddon so close at hand, and others headed out onto the riverbed, salvaging lost timbers and collecting relics from the War of 1812.


7. Toronto’s Archbishop saw a picture of the falls as a boy and conjured up prayers floating heavenward with the mist, a notion that years later led to the establishment of Loretto Academy at Niagara Falls and the tradition of perpetual adoration.


The Loretto Sisters came to Canada in 1861 and transformed a rundown country inn into a convent and school. The community struggled under severe conditions of deprivation and extreme temperatures until the archbishop deeded the sisters six acres of land overlooking Niagara Falls for a new convent and school for female boarders and day students. Afterward, for almost a century, a sister was always on bended knee in the academy chapel offering up prayers to rise with the mist.

8. A barge with two men aboard became lodged in the rapids just above the falls in 1918.

A barge dredging the entrance of a hydroelectric canal on the American side of the river had broken free of its tug and drifted toward the Horseshoe Falls. After becoming snagged on a rock shoal, William “Red” Hill rescued the two deckhands. The scow still remains at the same spot where it became stuck in 1918.




9. A trolley route, described as the most scenic trolley ride in the world, used to run along the rim of the Niagara Gorge on the Canadian side of the river and then along the teeming rapids at the base of the gorge on the American side if the river.


The Great Gorge Route ceased operation in 1935 after decades of accidents and landslides made the route too deadly and too costly to operate.


10. Niagara Falls was once felt to be at least as terrifying as it was beautiful.


In the mid-1800s many people believed Niagara Falls possessed the power to lure those who gazed at it too long into throwing themselves from the brink. Phrases like “awful grandeur” and “frightful beauty” were commonly used to describe the falls. In fact, in the oration delivered at the opening on the Niagara Falls State Park in 1885, the words “awful symbol of Infinite Power, in whose dread presence we stand” was used to invoke Niagara Falls.


Picture captions and credits:

• William “Red” Hill (right) – Niagara Falls (Ontario) Public Library

• Annie Taylor and her barrel – Niagara Falls Pubic Library, Niagara Falls, NY

• Great Gorge Route − Niagara, copyright 1902 by A. Wittemann, Brooklyn, N.Y.


I'd like to thank Ms. Buchanan for writing the very informative guest post. I just happen to have received an extra copy of THE DAYS THE FALLS STOOD STILL, and I'd like to pass it on to one of you. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me something you learned about Niagara Falls. To double or triple your chances, you can blog and/or tweet about this giveaway with a link back to this post. This contest will be open until Tuesday, October 6th at 11:59 p.m. EST; and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. or Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!

60 comments:

katsrus said...

The term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls.~I didn't know this. Also I didn't realize it was the oldest state park either. And I can't imagine waking up one morning to silence. Very interesting.

bermudaonion said...

I love trivia so I really enjoyed reading this post. I look forward to reading the book as well.

Mary said...

Please count me in on the giveaway!

I learned that the world's most scenic trolley ride used to run from the Canadian side to the American side. If it wasn't for those annoying landslides and accidents it might have continued running past 1935-yikes!

I blogged in my sidebar giveaways:
http://bookfan-mary.blogspot.com

meah56 at gmail dot com

Thanks!

Stacie said...

I have never been to the falls and don't know if I could ever go because as it says, it is as terrifying as beautiful. I don't like heights and especially heights and water mixed. So as beautiful as it is, I don't know if I could visit. But, would still love to read the book!
Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

Amanda said...

Wow. I can not believe that it's only at 25% capacity right now due to hydroelectrics. I can't imagine what it would look like at full capacity. I didn't know that the ice blocked the falls. Last year there were huge ice flows in the Harlem and Hudson rivers around Manhattan. It was so beautiful.

Thanks for the giveaway!

nycbookgirl at gmail dot com

Brittany said...

I learned that Niagara Falls was probably one of the few things about the U.S. that Charles Dickens actually liked. (He was notorious for hating Americans and all things American, so his comment about the Falls is pretty interesting!)

Lee P said...

I love this giveaway! I live about 45 minutes from the Falls and go there often. It's really nice around Christmas time when they have the lights on. I learned that Annie Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel in 1901. Crazy Lady! Thanks for this nice giveaway.

chinook92(at)gmail(dot)com

Lee P said...

I shared your giveaway on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/chinook92/status/4173949996

chinook92(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, my friend. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this up at Win a Book for you.

Beth F said...

I would love to win the book. I am fascinated with the falls, especially the people who have survived going over. There was once a little boy in maybe the 1960s who went over in just a life jacket (as the result of an accident) and survived. I've seen the falls in the spring when huge ice chunks go thundering over to crash in the river.

Anyway, what I learned is that the falls actually did stand still one day. I had no idea.

BFish (dot) Reads (at) gmail.com

Beth F said...

I tweeted: http://twitter.com/BethFishReads/statuses/4175172960

Debbie F said...

The fact that I like the most was about William “Red” Hill, and the fact that he hauled 177 bodies from the river, rescued 29 people, and was awarded four lifesaving medals—the first at age seven. Can you imagine receiving a medal at age seven!! I would love to read this one! Thanks

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

ccqdesigns said...

This was so fascinating. My grandfather actually worked on the TVA's Wilson dam where I grew up in Florence, AL and there are two bodies poured in the concrete that could not be recovered. I learned so many thing reading this post and cannot believe that "Red" actually got his first lifesaving medal at age 7. Amazing! I have only seen the falls once, at age 11 and have been fascinated by them since. My father also worked at Wilson Dam which is a Hydroelectric dam so I know all about them and how they work.

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

ccqdesigns said...

http://twitter.com/ccqdesigns/status/4175624313

here's a tweet about the giveaway.

rebecca dot cox at charter dot net

etirv said...

Niagara Falls State Park was created in 1885 and is America’s oldest state park. I wasn't aware of this fact!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stacey said...

fascinating stories. The Falls have been artificially reinforced to prevent excessive erosion. Amazing.

geekgirl(at)gmail(dot)com

chey said...

I learned that the amount of water tourists see flowing over Niagara Falls is usually only twenty-five percent of the natural flow. Seventy-five percent of the water is diverted for hydroelectricity.
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

I learned that Annie Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel (in 1901).

I also recently learned (in the book Too Close to the Falls) that the Maid of the Mist was named after the legend of the Native American virgin sacrifices over the falls.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Belle said...

I go to Niagara Falls at least once a year, and I only knew numbers 4 and 8! That trolley ride must have been quite something ...

Carol said...

I didn't know that the term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls. I would love to see the falls someday!
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Diana said...

I learned that Niagra Falls is America's oldest state park.

holdenj said...

I was surprised the first successful "barrel over the falls" attempt was way back in 1901. I would have thought it would have been more mid-century, as they learned from people who were unsuccessful. Thanks for the chance to win, I've had this on my radar awhile!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Diana said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/dzhu19/status/4301448663

Virginia said...

Niagra Falls is an awsome, enthralling, ever-constant reminder of the power of nature. The statement "Niagara Falls was once felt to be at least as terrifying as it was beautiful" is quite telling in its accuracy! gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Cathy Marie Buchanan said...

Julie, I love that everyone has to learn to enter the giveaway. Perfect.

I'm with Mary and Belle, that trolley ride must have been something.

Barbara C. said...

Sending up prayers with the mist! That impressed me the most. I'm looking forward to reading the book and someday seeing the actual Niagra Falls!

ossmcalc said...

I learned that the term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I so love trivia and would really love to win this book. I tweeted about this giveaway at http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/4309364853

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Kira R. said...

Count me in please. Something I learned - Annie Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel.

kirar59 at yahoo dot ca

Jaime said...

Great giveaway, would love to read this, I love history and learned that the Falls were created in 1885, Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest state park.
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Debbie Rodgers said...

I lived within 100 miles of the Falls for 50 years and, as is so often the case, went there only when we had visitors.
I had never really thought about the amount of water that is diverted for hydro-electric generation. At 100%, the falls would have been beyond words to describe.
tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT com

CherylS22 said...

I learned that the term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls - imagine the silence!
Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Carol W. said...

I learned that Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest state park, created in 1885.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol said...

I didn't realize that Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest state park, either.

Thanks for entering me.

carolsnotebook at yahoo dot com

Chèli said...

I never realized that it straddle the border.

cyderryATyahooDOTcom
Cheli
Cheli's Shelves

Chèli said...

I posted it on my blog

cyderryATyahooDOTcom
Cheli
Cheli's Shelves

ddurance said...

Wow, 177 bodies and awarded a medal at age 7.

Deidre
deidre_durance at hotmail com

andrea said...

I learned that 75% of the water flow is diverted to use in hydroelectricity... I guessed a part was diverted but wouldn't have guessed that so much water is... (wonder what it would look like at full flow)

adbcoz[at]gmail [dot]com

Lucyinthesky said...

What an informative post! I have never been that far East being on the West Coast most of my life. I had no idea Niagara Falls was the US's oldest National Park.

Thanks for the entry opportunity.

espressogurl at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the contest.
This would be a fascinating book.
I learned that people once referred
to the falls as terrible and I
learned that the falls were the 1st
state park. Thanks for having the drawing.


jeanereads{at}sbcglobal(dot)net

Anonymous said...

I am an email subscriber.




jeanereads(at)sbcglobal[dot]net

Linda said...

I loved reading all these Niagara facts, they were all fascinating. Especially interesting in item 7 that for over a century, a nun offered continuous prayer. And it's amazing to consider what the fall were like before 75% was diverted for electricity.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read...have visited Niagra Falls many times...it's spectacular. Interesting to note that in 1901 a woman survived a trip over the falls in a barrel.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Nancye said...

I learned that Niagara Falls State Park is America’s oldest state park and that it was created in 1885.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/4349174256


nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Tara said...

I never imagined that 75% of the water was diverted for hydroelectricity

boomdier181 at gmail dot com

elnice said...

I used to live by the falls, so some of this I already knew. I did not know that NF is America's oldest state park.

zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom

lag123 said...

I learned that 75% of the water is diverted for hydroelectricity.

lag110@mchsi.com

Cindy said...

I have always been fascinated by Niagara Falls and would someday love to see them.

One interesting thing that I learned from reading the guest blogger post was that Toronto's Archbishop saw a picture of the falls as a child and conjured up prayers floating heavenward with the mist and that led to the establishment of Loretto Academy at Niagara Falls and the tradition of perpetual adoration.

I follow you on Twitter. My username is Soccermom213 and I tweet about your blog and giveaways. I will do so again.

Thank you for a great giveaway!

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

bridget3420 said...

I learned that Niagara River became jammed up with ice & stopped flowing.

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Tweet

http://twitter.com/bridget3420/status/4427920201

bridget3420 said...

Blogged

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/2009/09/giveaway-list_6386.html

Tanyia said...

I watched a special on Niagara Falls not too long ago and did learn so much about it, it was fascinating! But I did not know about #10, and the thoughts about its "terrible" beauty. How interesting!

Tammy said...

One of the men who went over the falls may have survived except he attached himself to the bottom of the barrel, and when he hit the bottom separated, dragged him down, and he drown.

I blogged about the contest here.

Tammy, missporkchop AT yahoo DOT com

kristinemarie7 said...

I did not know that the falls ceased flowing when the river was jammed with ice and that's where the term originated. Please enter me in the contest and thanks for posting!
kristine7 at aol.com

Bethie said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Please count me in. I did not know there used to be a trolley route on the Canadian side.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

starryann said...

I did not know that a trolley ever ran there so this was an interesting bit of information and I also did not know about the reduction in flow. thanks so much for the info

please enter me

starryann2000@yahoo.com

pixie13 said...

I did not know that Annie Taylor was the first person to survive a trip over the falls in a barrel.

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

flowerchild said...

i learned that The term “the day the falls stood still” was coined back in 1848 to describe the day the Niagara River became jammed up with ice and ceased to flow over the falls.

thanks

flower_child_23(at)hotmail(dot)com

Stephanie said...

I loved reading the trivia about Niagara Falls. I used to live fairly close to NF and my husband and I used to go there frequently on the weekend just to get away. I've always tried to imagine what the first European settlers thought or felt when they saw the Falls for the first time.