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Tragedy on the Ice Bridge

It was a bitterly cold February day in 1912. The Ice Bridge, at the bottom of the falls, was crowded with people, most of whom came to the falls on excursion trains.

Without any warning, the formation began to break up. “Red” Hill Sr., a local river man, shouted for everyone to head for the shore. Everyone, except Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge Stanton from Toronto and two men from Cleveland, Ignatius Roth and Burrel Heacock made it to shore. Hill was able to pull Roth off a floe and Heacock could have made it too, but he turned back to assist the Stantons.

Before the ice approached the two bridges over the Whirlpool Rapids, the floe broke into two pieces dividing Heacock from the Stantons. Ropes were sent down from the bridges, but did not make contact with the doomed trio.

People have not been permitted to go on the ice bridges of Niagara Falls since that tragic day.