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Five Remarkable Women who Influenced the History of Niagara Falls Recognized on International Women’s Day – March 8th, 2024

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As we draw closer to International Women’s Day on March 8th, 2024, join us in appreciating five extraordinary ladies who had influential impacts on the history of Niagara Falls. These women have brought about remarkable changes in various arenas – social, economic, cultural, and political. As we celebrate their enduring legacies, let’s explore how they’ve helped shape the Niagara Falls community we all love. Discover more events in Niagara here.

Annie Edson Taylor

International Women's Day

On her 63rd birthday in 1901, Annie Taylor emerged as the first person ever, and the first female, to successfully ride down the Niagara Falls in a barrel. Despite her hopes of gaining wealth and fame from this adventure, she only managed to achieve popularity, and tragically passed away in destitution in 1921.

“If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat… I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Falls.” – Annie Taylor

Laura Secord

International Women's Day

Laura Secord became an iconic figure in Canadian history during the War of 1812. She carried out a perilous 20-mile trek in 1813 to warn British forces about an impending American attack while their territory was under American occupation.

The Real “Maid of the Mist”

Legend of the White Canoe, Niagara

The “Maid of the Mist” is a notable legend in Native American folklore. The leading character, a grieving Seneca Native maiden named Lelawala, is said to have been saved from her suicidal drift to the falls by the Thunder God, “Heno”. The legend has it that Lelawala lived under the falls with Heno and helped save her people from a deadly serpent, securing her legacy as the “Maid of the Mist”.

Maria Spelterini

Maria Spelterini

Maria Spelterini owns the distinct honor of being the only woman to have walked across the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope. This feat occurred in July 1876 during the U.S. Centennial celebrations. After her first successful attempt, she took on more daring challenges – walking across blindfolded, with peach baskets strapped to her feet, and in handcuffs.

Theodosia Burr Alston

International Women's Day

Theodosia Burr Alston, born in 1783, was the daughter of American Vice President Aaron Burr. After marrying a wealthy landowner, Joseph Alston, in 1801, she influenced the idea of honeymooning at Niagara Falls, which later helped the place earn its moniker – the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”.

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