He was a thirteen-year old who flew a kite in January of 1848 from the U.S. side the Niagara Gorge near the present-day location of the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge to the Canadian side. From that kite string, a heavier cord was pulled across the Niagara River and finally a wire cable consisting of thirty-six strands of No.9 wire. This enabled authorities to start construction of the first bridge over the Niagara Gorge. Construction of the bridge began almost immediately and was completed May 1849.This first suspension bridge served the public for six years and then it was dismantled to make room for a newer and larger bridge.
Today, three bridges have been found at this location. The present-day Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is now a local commuter bridge. It celebrated its 100th birthday in 1997.
Incidentally, Homan Walsh was taking part in a kite contest sponsored by the bridge proponents. He won $5.00 for his kite-flying skills.
Six bridges now cross over the Niagara River.