Maid of the Mist open for the 2012 Season
The Maid of the Mist tour boats are open for the 2012 season! This season could be the last one for the Maid of the Mist on the Ontario side as the contract has been given to another company.
The first Maid of the Mist was launched in 1846, the year the Niagara Falls Ferry Association was incorporated. It served as the only means to cross the border until 1848, when the first suspension bridge was built. Since there was no longer a need for ferry service, the Maid of the Mist owners recognized the need for a boat that would serve tourists.
A larger boat, the Maid of the Mist II, was launched for service in 1854. The vessel was a 72-foot-long steam-propelled paddle wheeler. In 1861, due to a financial crisis and the impending American Civil War, the Maid of the Mist was sold at public auction to a Canadian Company. The completion of the sale was not so simple since it required delivering the boat to Lake Ontario. The only way to accomplish this was navigating the vessel through the Great Gorge Rapids, the Whirlpool and the Lower Rapids to reach its destination.
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