For many of us, who live not to far from the cataract we often hear, (when the wind is right) the roar of the falls. Not to hear the roar of the falls would be unusual.
Near midnight of March 29,1848 there was an eerie silence when the falls ceased to flow for two days. Niagara residents knew something was abnormal. Some even thought the world was coming to an end! Many flocked to churches. Remember, this was 1848 and instant communications just wasn’t happening.
However, what was happening was Niagara Falls and the Niagara River had ceased to flow to a trickle. The reason, heavy ice had plugged up the mouth of the Niagara River at Port Colborne in the south.
Once it was known why the river and falls had ceased to flow visitors and locals scurried onto the bed above the falls retrieving items such as bayonets, muskets, canons, tomahawks (probably from the War of 1812-14) and even human skeletons.
When the wind shifted some 40 hours later the ice dam broke up and the falls started to flow again.
Church attendance dropped dramatically and Niagarans returned to there regular routines.