Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Great Falls "diamond in the rough"

The Great Falls of the Passaic River, located just 12 miles from New York City in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, is a not only spectacular natural attraction in the nation’s most populous state, it also gained historical significance in the early stages of the American industrial Revolution by supplying water power to the nation’s first manufacturing center. The falls now 77 feet high, emerged approximately 13,000 years ago the end of the ice age. As the glaciers ice melted, the Passaic River swelled and rerouted it's way around the north end of the Watchung Mountains, carving out the spectacular falls from the basalt base.
Early habitation of the surrounding falls began with the native Lenape Indians, followed by Dutch settlers in the in the 17th century.
 The Great Falls of the Passaic River

 The Great Falls

the Passaic River
 The Great Falls of the Passaic River  New Jersey
The Great Falls "diamond in the rough"
The Great Falls and the American Industrial Revolution

The Falls also has a place in history with the American Industrial Revolution as one of the nation’s first manufacturing centers that benefited from the falls water source to generate power to run mills that manufactured locomotives, guns, silk, and aircraft engines.
The Great Falls  winter
The Great Falls  winter 1
The Great Falls of the Passaic River winter
In 1778, after visiting the Falls Alexander Hamilton, first realized the water power potential for industrial development and when he later became the country's first treasury secretary, he spearheaded the development of the nation's first planned industrial city.
Two manufactures of prominence, The Rogers Locomotive Works and Colt, where the first Colt .45 revolvers were produced, benefited by the water power from the falls.
 The Passaic River
The Passaic River is prone to flooding from heavy rainfall or snow-melt, and during those periods of flooding, the Falls is at its best as an awesome sight with the tremendous down pouring of water cascading over the falls.
In the second week of April, 2007, 8 inches of rain drenched the area and produced the "Great Flood" that flowed down the Passaic River and over the Falls.
The Great Falls - A National Historic Park
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation making The Great Falls and its surrounding 35 acres a National Park. This legislation now provides protection and increased funding to the park.
 The Great Falls - A National Historic Park
 The Great Falls - A National Historic Park 1
 The Great Falls  National  Park
The Falls is a natural "diamond in the rough" and the foundation of America’s economic development. A master plan or design vision has been developed for the recovery of the Great Falls, the surrounding area, and historical industrial sites, to create and orderly plan to integrate them into one spectacular new public space. This new integrated public park is intended to commemorate the Great Falls and its place in the history of the American Revolution while preserving the viewing and natural beauty of the Great Falls.
Best Place to View The Falls
The falls can best be viewed from three spots; Hamilton Park on the south, from the bridge down river from the falls, and Overlook Park on the north.
Great Falls Historic District Visitor Center
Located across from the Falls, The Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center is a great place to learn about the history and many of the initiatives underway to develop the area.

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