Monday, March 5, 2018

Postcard of Goat Island Bridge at Niagara Falls

This postcard, mailed from Niagara Falls to Philadelphia in July 1913, features the Goat Island Bridge.1 The descriptive text on the back of this H.H. Tammen Company card states:
A beautiful bridge structure, one of the sights of Niagara, taking the place of several crude wooden affairs that previously served as passageways. The mingling of quiet pastoral scenery and the madly rushing torrent of the river below form the rarest scenic combination in the world.
Goat Island Bridge takes you between the United States and Goat Island.2 Today, it is reserved for the Niagara Scenic Trolley, and cars are not permitted. Goat Island, part of the United States, is a major tourist destination but still retains a fair amount of undeveloped woodland (with foot trails passing through).

Perhaps the unlikeliest attraction on the island is the Tesla Monument, a statue of inventor Nikola Tesla that was gifted to the United States by the government of Yugoslavia in 1976. The reason for it being located there, according to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, is that "Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse built the first hydro-electric power plant in Niagara Falls and started the electrification of the world."

To wrap up, here's the July 1913 note that was scrawled onto this postcard:
"We came across the bridge to view the falls by night. Are sitting on the stone rail. Want to see them by moonlight. We had a very tasty supper and I enjoyed what I ate — but my appetite has not come back. We see a very great improvement and find quite a busy town. The place is full.

1. Also happening in July 1913: A huge gathering in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg; Tony Wilding wins his fourth straight Wimbledon crown (though he would be killed in World War I less than two years later); "spirit communication" with "Patience Worth" begins; future President Gerald Ford is born and given the name Leslie Lynch King Jr.; and a motorcade of sixty vehicles travels from Hyattsville, Maryland, to the United States Capitol carrying a petition with 200,000 signatures of persons favoring an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow women to vote.
2. I am not 100 percent sure whether the Goat Island Bridge pictured on this postcard is the same one that's there today. There's a good chance it's been upgraded or replaced during the past century.

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