It is believed that Niagara is a derivative of the Iroquoian word, “Onguiaahra”, which was anglicized by missionaries. The name appears on maps as early as 1641. The generally accepted meaning is, “The Strait”. Some think it was derived from the narrow waterway that flows north from Lakes Erie to Lake Ontario. Early maps do not refer to the Niagara River but the Niagara Strait, which is more correct.
Others believe the word Niagara is taken from another native word meaning, “Thundering Waters”.
Another theory of the name's origin suggests Niagara is derived from the name given to a local group of Aboriginals, called the Niagagarega people.
Regardless, wherever the word comes from, Niagara is another word for anything powerful. Hopefully, we all agree.
A 1698 print of the Falls depicting Belgian explorer Louis Hennepin, in front the Falls. Hennepin is largely credited as the person who brought the Falls to the attention of Europeans in 1677.