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Interpreting the Evidence

Horseshoe Falls in Winter, Niagara Falls, n.d.

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    Western New York
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Horseshoe Falls in Winter, Niagara Falls, n.d. in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Horseshoe Falls and the old Terrapin Tower at Niagara Falls in winter, n.d.
Historical Context
While Niagara Falls does not freeze in winter, an ice bridge forms at the bottom of the falls with water flowing underneath.  It has been reported that up to eighty feet of thick ice has formed across the base of the falls in the past.  Until 1912, visitors were actually allowed to walk out on the ice bridge; however, on February 4, 1912, the ice broke up, and three tourists died.
Essential Question
How does geography influence human settlement patterns and economic systems?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain the influence of geography on New York's settlement and economy.
Historical Challenges
This photograph is undated. Research using clues from the photograph to determine when this photograph might have been taken.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: Why doesn't Niagara Falls freeze in winter? Of the three falls that make up Niagara Falls, which has frozen completely in the past? When did the freeze occur, and why?