Niagara Falls has been the traditional, ”Honeymoon Capital of the World” for the past 217 years. You see, it was when Niagara Falls first honeymooners, Theodosia and Joseph Alston, embarked from Albany N.Y. to the Falls in June of 1801 on their “Bridal Tour”, as it was known. They had a number of servants and nine pack horses. Theodosia was the daughter of future U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr.
Passing through the frontier settlement of Buffalo, they came to the magnificent cataracts of Niagara.
Soon, following their example, there were two other high-society newlyweds: Jerome Bonaparte (A younger brother of Napoleon) and his Baltimore bride Elizabeth Patterson in 1804. And thus the new social custom, honeymooning at Niagara Falls, was born. At first, it was limited to the wealthy, but when the Erie Canal on the U.S. side of the border opened in 1825, Niagara Falls became accessible to middle-class lovers. Before long, railways were also bringing honeymooners on a daily basis to Niagara. Honeymooning at Niagara was so popular it became the song of the year, My Niagara Falls Honeymoon, in 1841. Another newspaper reporter wrote in1839, “I have counted several cooing couples near the Falls, both Canadian and Americans, fulfilling the fleeting period of their honey-lunacy”.
I can tell you with confidence that these, “cooing couples” are still here today.
When I worked as Public Relations Director for The Niagara Parks Commission, I was often interviewed about honeymooners at the Falls. I would reply, let’s go down near the Falls and talk to some. They were puzzled as to how I would know honeymooners. It was easy. They are always holding hands and snuggling, they both look often at there rings and they’re in a world of their own. I’m not sure they even knew the Falls was nearby!
Today, thousands of honeymooners visit the Falls every year. Many of them will get their free Honeymoon Certificate issued by Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati. The certificate is available throughout the day, seven days a week at the Ontario Tourist Information at 5355 Stanley Avenue.
Attached is a photograph of a honeymoon couple at the Falls in 1956.