In an attempt to gain fortune and fame, Annie Edson Taylor, or “Barreling Annie,” decided to test her luck and go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The 63-year-old school teacher from Michigan was accompanied by her cat during this daring act, and she became not only the first person to go over the falls in a barrel and survive, but the first woman to accomplish this feat.
The year was 1901, and The Pan American Exposition was currently happening in nearby Buffalo, New York, so Taylor knew she would be able to attract a crowd to see her tumble down the falls in a barrel. Taylor and her cat were placed in the wooden container and a small boat towed them into the main stream of the Niagara River, where the barrel was cut loose.
After being released from the safety of the boat, the barrel was first seen edging over the brink of the falls and just a minute later, it was spotted floating at the base of the torrent. The barrel then floated to the Canadian shore where it was dragged to a nearby rock and the lid of the container was removed. Remarkably, Taylor came out of the barrel dazed, but exhilarated, and her only injury was a small cut along her forehead caused by being taken out of the barrel.
For years after this daring event, Taylor sold souvenirs and other mementos of her feat to tourists coming to see Niagara Falls. She never repeated her courageous trip over the falls again, and while she did achieve the fame she wanted, she died destitute 20 years later in 1921.
Daredevils like Taylor are part of what makes Niagara Falls and its history so great, and we love representing the area’s incredible past in the beverages we distill to perfection. Channel your inner daredevil and experience a taste of the falls by trying our Barreling Annie’s Rye Whisky!