The Luna Falls or Bridal Veil Falls

Image courtesy of the Niagara Falls (Ontario) Public Library. Black and white photograph of the American Falls, with the Cave of the Winds mid-way down the right side. The American Falls, on the left, dwarf the Luna Falls (or Bridal Veil Falls) on the right. Large boulders rest at the bottom of both falls, creating rapids and halving the height of both falls. A single tree stands on Luna Island, which is an island between the American and Luna Falls.
Courtesy of the Niagara Falls (Ontario) Public Library,
American Falls

Modern writers, for example Pierre Berton in 1992, would call the small falls to the south of the American Falls either Luna or Bridal Veil Falls. This waterfall is also known as Iris Falls; it is comical how the smallest of the three waterfalls has the most names. The name Bridal Veil is now more prominent than Luna or Iris.

The name Luna Falls refers to the reflection of the mist when the light from a full moon would shine on the mist. Many tourists, including newlyweds, came to view this phenomenon; which was particularly stunning on the island that separates the American Falls from the smaller falls. The name of the island thus became known as Luna Island. The waterfall next to the island became known as Luna Falls, Luna referring to moon. This moonlit rainbow became less prominent with the advent of industrialization, electricity and illumination on both sides of the border. Just as the stars are now invisible when in a cityscape, so too the lunar rays on the mist are now invisible.

The name Bridal Veil Falls comes from the shape of this waterfall and the environment of Niagara. It is thinner when compared to the other falls that make up the falls of Niagara. The thin sheet of water which looks like a bridal veil, combined with the romanticism of the area and the traditions led to the adoption of the new moniker, Bridal Veil.  This title for the waterfall is used to denote other waterfalls throughout the world rather than just the one in Niagara.

The absence of the lunarrays' effect on the mist of Niagara during the time of industrialization in the area led to the adoption of the more commonly used Bridal Veil Falls in opposition to Luna Falls. Either term can be used correctly to refer to the same waterfall.

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