It was in February of 1912 that Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge Stanton and Burrell Hecock, who was trying to save the Stanton’s, drowned when the ice bridge they were standing on started to break up carrying them to their death in the lower Whirlpool Rapids. Winters were colder then and ice bridges often formed below the falls and people ventured out on them to the base of the American Falls. After this tragic accident, it was forbidden to walk out onto these bridges. So far, no ice bridge has formed due to the mild winter we are now experiencing.
Today, a plaque is found near the foot of Clifton Hill honours Hancock’s heroic efforts.
Attached is a photograph taken of Mr. Hecock marooned on a piece of the ice bridge that started flowing down the Niagara River. A few minutes after this photo was taken the chunk of ice broke up and he drowned.