Niagara Falls, city (1990 pop. 61,840), Niagara co., W N.Y., at the great falls of the Niagara River opposite Niagara Falls, Ont.; inc. 1892. Tourism is one of its oldest industries, and many state parks are in the area, but in recent years its Canadian sister city has surpassed it as a tourist destination. There is a gambling casino in the city. One of the world's first hydroelectric plants was built there; it was replaced betweeen 1963 and 1965 by a plant now capable of producing 2,525,000 kW. The city is also a port of entry. Several bridges span the river to Canada. Niagara Univ. is there. Historically a maker of abrasives, mechanical and electrochemical products, and paper and aluminum goods, the city saw its industrial base decline severely after World War II, and since the 1960s the population has fallen by nearly half. Settled by Native Americans, the site was occupied by the French in the 1680s, captured by the British in 1759, and settled by Americans in 1805. Lost to the British during the War of 1812, it was regained after the Treaty of Ghent in Dec., 1814.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.