The earliest written description of the falls is that of Louis Hennepin (in Nouvelle Découverte, 1697), who was with the expedition of Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, the French explorer, in 1678. In the 19th cent., daredevils attempted to brave the falls in barrels, boats, and rubber balls. The great Blondin performed (1859) on a tightrope over the gorge below the falls, and Nik Wallenda crossed (2012) a tightrope over the falls' precipice. Historical and natural history material relating to the region is in the Niagara Falls Museum in the city of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.