During the 19th and 20th centuries, there was quite a deal of commercial activity above the falls. This included the use of boats. One of these instances resulted in a wreck. The impacts of this wreck were so strong and deeply rooted that it even remains visible to the public today. A crash dating back to 1918 has remained in the water for over 100 years now!
Back in 1918, Niagara Falls was still the widely known natural wonder that it is today. Many people traveled far and wide to be able to see the Falls. Its natural beauty has long left people wanting to visit the site for themselves. Even today, people travel from all over the world to see Niagara Falls.
How the Niagara Scow (or Old Scow) Came to Be
In early August 1918, the Great Lakes Dredge and Docks Company commissioned a scow to be used along the upstream portion of the waterfall. Gustave F. Lofberg and Frank Harris, two seasoned employees were the ones on board. They were there to do dredging work.
One thing led to another, and the two men noticed that they were getting dangerously close to the Falls. Of course, they knew that this would surely be the end of their lives if they didn’t do something. Whether it was a string of luck or due to skilled emergency protocol, the boat became lodged on rocks instead of plunging over the edge.
Saved by Getting Stuck
There is no doubt that the two men aboard the scow had at least considered the possibility that they were about to die as the scow neared the falls. In fact, if they had not gotten stuck on the rocks, they probably would have died. Regardless of how exactly they came to get stuck on rocks, this is exactly what happened.
The Scow Still Remains Stuck
After waiting over 12 hours and being stuck on the scow, the proper help finally arrived. Word quickly spread across to authorities both in Canada and in the United States that these men needed help. Thankfully, they were pretty stuck so the boat didn’t go anywhere. In fact, the two men got so stuck on the scow that it even remains close to its initial site today!
The Old Scow Moved in 2019
After the rescue of the men, not much was done to try and save the scow. After all, doing so could risk the lives of people. Therefore, the scow remained in place after the men were successfully brought back to safety.
How Can I See the Old Scow?
In order to see the scow, you will first need to get to the upper stream above the falls. From there, you can either see the scow from the USA or Canadian side of the border. For best results and to fully see the impact of the wreck, try to book a fly-over tour with a helicopter. This is the best way to get close up to the wreck.
The hardest part of seeing the Old Scow is getting into the right place. Usually, people will come to Niagara Falls and stay a few nights in order to have time to do everything on their list. One of the best ways to see sites such as the Old Scow is to camp nearby.
Campark Resorts offers cozy camping accomdoations near Niagara Falls on the Canadian side of the border. We have RV spots, tent sites and cabins available. Learn more