table_rock_house_2012The first humans arrived in Niagara Region almost 12,000 years ago, just in time to witness the birth of the Falls. During this time (the Palaeo-Indian Period, which lasted until 9,000 years ago), Niagara was inhabited by the Clovis people. The Woodland Period lasted from 3,000 to 300 years ago, culminating in the peak of Iroquois culture in southern Ontario. Palaeo-Indian sites in Niagara would most likely be associated with the series of relic beach ridges that once formed the shore of early Lake Erie. Although he never saw Niagara Falls, the Indians he met along the St.Lawrence River told him about it. Etienne Brule, the first European to see Lakes Ontario, Erie Huron and Superior, may also have been the first to behold the Falls, in 1615. In December 1678, Recollet priest Louis Hennepin visited Niagara Falls.

Between 1849 and 1962, thirteen bridges were constructed across the Niagara River Gorge. Niagara Suspension Bridge In 1855, John August Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, built the Niagara Railway Suspension Bridge, the first bridge of its type in the world. Between the late 1700s and the middle 1800s, boats were the main way to get to Niagara Falls. One of the first electrified street car services was provided in Niagara, and in 1893 the Queenston/Chippawa Railway carried boat passengers from Queenston to Table Rock and beyond. Later it was extended along the lower Gorge on the American side of the River, connecting back into Canada at the Upper Arch Bridge.