Niagara Falls USA Islands
In 1860, local daredevil, Joel Robinson walked out into the rapids just above the brink of the American Falls from Prospect Point with the aid of an iron staff. He made his way to an island located northeast of Luna Island. This island was later named “Robinson Island”. Robinson Island is located in the American Goat Island Channel leading to the American Falls.
Ship Island & Brig Island
Ship and Brig Islands were the chosen names of the islands because the trees growing on them resembled the masts of sailing ships.
In 1840, narrow bridges were built to Ship Island and Brig Island. They were later torn down after being declared unsafe.
Ship Island and Brig Island is located in the American Goat Island Channel leading to the American Falls.
Grass Island was a small elongated natural island located along the American shoreline of the Niagara River near Port Day, which is approximately 1,500 meters upriver of the Falls. The gap in the river between Grass Island and the American mainland was filled in the 1960’s by the New York State Parks Commission when the Robert Moses Parkway was being built through the Niagara Reservation. Grass Island ceased to exist following this construction. Today the pool of water located immediately upstream of the International Water Control Dam is named the Chippawa – Grass Island pool. It is from this large “pool” of water from which the New York State Power Authority and the Ontario Power Generation Company draw water from for their respective hydro generating stations downstream.
Willow Island was a human-made island located along the American shoreline nearest the mainland directly across from Goat Island. This island was created in 1759, when Daniel Joncairs dug a narrow canal above the Falls on the American side to implement a water wheel. He was able to draw enough water from the river, that it was able to turn a water-wheel, which was able to power a small sawmill. This construction created Willow Island and was named from the many willow trees lining the banks.
The canal was filled in the 1960’s by the New York State Parks Commission when the Robert Moses Parkway was being built through the Niagara Reservation. Willow Island ceased to exist following this construction.
Bath Island was named because of the bath houses that were located at the western end of the island. It had a toll gatehouse where tourists were required to pay a toll before they were allowed to advance along a bridge to Goat Island. As well, during the mid 1800’s, Bath Island became the home of a number of industries and residential homes.
During the early 1900’s, the name of the island was changed from Bath Island to Green Island after Mr. Andrew H. Green. He was one of the first Niagara Reservation Commissioners.
In 1825, the first paper mill was built on Bath Island. It was a three storey structure which became one of the largest mills in the nation. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1858, was then rebuilt, but once more, burned to the ground in 1882.
In the spring of 1843, the first family to live on Bath Island was Vime Hickox and his parents. By 1850, the families had moved away from Bath Island. Green Island is located in the American Goat Island Channel leading to the American Falls.
Niagara Falls Canada Island
Gull Island is a small elongated island located nearest the Canadian shoreline approximately 100 yards upriver of the Horseshoe Falls. The island is named from the number of nesting gulls which seasonally occupy this island refuge.