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
46 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • By hiking below the falls you come upon this destroyed station. The presentation of the area is extremely well done, it is self guided but very easy to tour, and if you like hiking, you can jump off a...  more »
  • You can go into this power station elevators and go all the way down to the Niagara River. The history of the place is shown on signs in the lower section. Very interesting. Amazing how low it is at t...  more »
Google
  • Looking for a place to get closer to the water, then be sure to check out Schoellkopf Power Station. It's a obscure looking building, but don't let that fool you. Go inside, take the elevator down and begin to explore. Once you get off the elevator, walk down towards the water (it looks like Maid of the Mist). There are walking trails to the left and right. You won't be disappointed!
  • 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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