Did you know that Niagara Falls was once dewatered?
Rock falls in 1931 and 1954 had dumped unsightly talus at the base of the Falls. Spieler was concerned that if erosion of the American Falls were allowed to continue and rock falls continued to collect at its base, the waterfall would be destroyed. The story came out in a front page editorial issue on January 31st 1965.
Four years later The United States Army Corps of Engineers were charged with a task to divert the flow of the Niagara River away from the American side of the falls for several months in order to remove the large amount of loose rock from the base of the waterfall. The idea was eventually abandoned due to expense and engineers mechanically bolted and strengthened a number of faults to delay the gradual erosion of the American Falls instead.
A man from Connecticut, Russ Glasson recently stumbled across the pictures of the process, which were taken by his in-laws, and had been left in an old shoebox in their garage for over four decades.
In November 1969 the team of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers blew up their temporary dam and six million cubic feet of water once again thundered over the falls' sides every minute.