Post War of 1812 Development

There were no bridges in Chippawa to cross the Chippawa Creek. Samuel Street operated a rowboat ferry until 1816, when Street built a wooden bridge.

In 1817, there were two bridges in Chippawa. The bridge closest to the mouth of the Niagara River was called the “King’s Bridge”.

In 1817, the population had increased to 1,200 people. Nearly every one farmed for a living.

In 1818, a distillery was built near the present day site of the Queen Victoria Restaurant.

In 1820, tourists began returning to the Niagara Falls.

In 1822, William Forsyth built the Pavilion Hotel. It was located on the present site of the Oakes Inn adjacent to the Minolta Tower.

In 1826, Zeba Gay established a nail factory at the foot of Cedar Island. Mr. Utley had established a clock factory.

In 1827, Harmanus Crysler built the Prospect Hotel. It was located along “the front“, which was a strip of hotels situated in the present site of Queen Victoria Park opposite the Table Rock. Other hotels located along “the front” included: the Museum Hotel, the Table Rock House, the Brunswick Hotel and the Prospect Hotel. These hotels were situated in a row between Robinson Street and the Table Rock. Because of their close proximity to each other and the Table Rock, they attracted unsavory characters including hucksters, thieves, prostitutes and carnival types.

In 1832, Captain Ogden Creighton purchased land from the Bender family. Creighton then laid out a series of streets and building lots for a village he would call “Clifton”. Creighton lived in a house at the Jolley Cut (present end of Robinson Street at Skylon Tower). Creighton did little to promote his village of Clifton before he died in 1850. Business tycoon, Samuel Zimmerman took over the endeavors of Creighton.

In 1833, Crysler began construction of the first Clifton House located on the current site of the Oakes Garden Theater (Clifton Hill and River Road).

In 1847, Saul Davis built the Prospect Hotel along “the front” (Queen Victoria Park).

By 1850, 60, 000 people visited the Falls of Niagara each year.

In 1853, the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge housed a series of paltry curiosity shops.

In 1854, 10 acres of the Islands (Dufferin Islands) were given to Samuel Street. Street named the islands “Cynthia Islands”. He named the islands after one of his sisters.

In 1854, Saul Davis built his Table Rock House to the north of and adjoining Thomas Barnett’s Table Rock House. For a short while they competed for customers before Barnett sold out to Davis in 1877.

In 1855, the Government of Upper Canada took over all the properties along “the front” including the property of Saul Davis. Saul Davis moved to Niagara Falls, New York where he built a new hotel.

On June 19th 1856, the Village of Elgin and the Village of Clifton were amalgamated and became known as the “Town of Clifton”.

In 1857, Samuel Street obtained a lease from the government for Cedar Island (present site of the Canadian Niagara Power Company). Street built a 50 foot tall wooden tourist observation tower called “Street’s Pagoda”. The tower was too far from the brink of the Falls to offer a good view and as a result did not earn much money.

Samuel Street formed the Niagara Falls & Chippawa Plank Road Company. A portion of a road from Cynthia Islands (Dufferin Islands) to Chippawa became a toll road.
The area around Street’s saw & grist mill became an area for other manufacturers. John Hardy built a tannery on Cedar Island.

In 1872, Samuel Street died. At the time of his death, Street was a Member of Parliament for Welland County.

When Sutherland Macklem inherited his Uncle Samuel Street’s estate, he opened Cynthia Islands to allow public access.

In 1881, by a special act of the Parliament of Canada, the name of the Town of Clifton was changed to “Town of Niagara Falls”.

On March 13th 1882, Drummondville became the “Village of Niagara Falls”.

In 1887, Cynthia Islands and Cedar Island were deeded back to the Government of Canada. The name of Cynthia Islands was changed to Dufferin Islands.

On January 1st 1904, the Town of Niagara Falls and the Village of Niagara Falls were amalgamated to form the “City of Niagara Falls”.

Hotels in the early 1900’s included the Elgin House (Bridge Street at River Road), the Rosli Hotel (Bridge Street at Cataract Street), the Windsor Hotel (Bridge Street), the Columbia Hotel (Bridge Street at Erie Avenue), the Suspension Bridge Hotel (became the Klondike Hotel – Bridge Street) and the Savoy Hotel located in the former Zimmerman Bank building (Bridge Street at Zimmerman Avenue).

In 1914, more than one million people per year were visitors to the Falls. Prohibition ended in Canada in 1926. Prohibition ended in USA in 1932. For six years, liquor smuggling became an enterprising yet illegal business.

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