Schoellkopf Power Station, Niagara Falls

The Schoellkopf Power Station was built on land owned by Jacob F. Schoellkopf above the Niagara Gorge near the American Falls, 1,600 feet downriver from Rainbow Bridge. Understanding the growing need for electricity and the role of harnessing the Falls, Schoellkopf purchased the land for the hydraulic canal on May 1, 1877 for $71,000. After Schoellkopf Sr.'s death in 1903, his sons took over the operation of the power business. In 1918, Schoellkopf's Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power and Manufacturing Company merged with the Niagara Falls Power Company, which was owned by Edward Dean Adams. The Plant was considered by some to be the greatest hydroelectric plant at the time. Much of the site is, as of 2014, occupied by the Maid of the Mist tour boat company as a maintenance area and off-season boat storage yard. The power station remains form a part of a fully accessible tourist attraction associated with Niagara Falls State Park and is connected with its Niagara Gorge hiking trail system.
In 1853 construction of a "Hydraulic Canal" was begun, intended to bring water from the Niagra River above the falls to the river bluff below the falls. The original 1874 plant did not produce electricity but used water turbines to power belts and drive shafts for nearby mills. In 1882 Schoellkopf partnered with Charles Brush who had come to Niagara Falls with a dynamo and 16 carbon arc lights which were used on the streets of Niagara Falls, New York. The first dynamo had a capacity of 1,800 horsepower and ran up to 1904 when it was abandoned in favor of Station No. 2. it was also known as the Quigley Pulp - Lower Mill and the Cliff Paper - Lower Mill.
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Schoellkopf Power Station Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
56 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This was the first time we saw the Maid of the Mist! For us it was incredible. We enjoyed every bit of the trip and then some. So many beautiful places to see! What a great trip, what an adventure!  more »
  • As soon as you step off the elevatory you are learning the history of the power station. A special plus of our visit was to see the building of the 2 new Maid of the Mist boats, the guide was very kno...  more »
Google
  • Ride the elevator for views along the river. Small trail at the bottom and signs explaining the site.
  • Amazing place, you have to check out the remnants of this power station. Probably one of the coolest hikes you can ever take. The elevator up/down is fantastic!
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