In 1855, Thomas Clark Street purchased a 2 acre, crescent shaped island located directly above the crest of the Horseshoe Falls, for 12 pounds and 10 shillings from the Crown. This Island was variously known as Swayze Island, Crescent Island and Long Island, but its most popular name was Cedar Island. Upon acquisition, Street began to develop Cedar Island, building wooden bridges and a paved roadway between the Island and the mainland near Table Rock. In 1859 or 1860, Street had a wooden tower constructed on the Island in a lattice-work design. It was completed in time for a visit from the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) in September of 1860. As a consequence of this visit, the tower is sometimes referred to as the Prince of Wales Tower. Supported by a two-storey building at its base, the tower rose to a height of 50 feet. At the top of the tower there was an observation platform which could be reached by climbing seven flights of stairs. Popularly known as 'Street's Pagoda,' the tower never generated much income, as it was too far above the Falls to attract many tourists. After Street's death, Street's Pagoda remained opened and was managed by Street's nephew and heir, Sutherland Macklem.
Cedar Island was sold to the government by Macklem on May 6, 1887. When the Queen Victoria Parks Commission assumed control of the Island later that year, they demolished the Pagoda and converted its two-storey base into a residence for William Whistler, one of the Park's gatekeepers. In 1904, the Canadian Niagara Power Company chose the mainland facing the west side of Cedar Island as the site of its new powerhouse. During construction of the plant, the Company diverted the path of the river, and Cedar Island became a part of the mainland.
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History & Archeology @ the eXchange
J4BL Book Club