While Niagara Falls itself has a history dating back 10,000 years, with its formation by the colossal Wisconsin Glacier, the New York town of the same name has a much shorter past. Sure, humans have inhabited the area around Niagara for more than 5000 years—and since the first century, the Iroquois people who gave the falls its name (“the strait”) have called it home—but major settlement didn’t take place in the area until the mid-18th century, when British and French forces jockeyed for control with a number of fortifications.

The British eventually pushed the French out of the region, and with the American Revolution, Niagara Falls was split into U.S. and Canadian sides. Niagara Falls, New York, when it was incorporated as a city in 1892 was already a major tourist attraction and commercial center. In fact, the area around the falls had become such a hot spot for visitors and entrepreneurs that many worried the falls were ceasing to be a national treasure that all Americans could freely enjoy.

In 1885, before the city’s incorporation, a group of local lobbyists, spearheaded by the legendary landscape architect Federick Law Olmstead, succeeded persuading the New York State Legislature to create the 200-acre Niagara Reservation State Park.

Over the 20th century, Niagara Falls, New York continued to grow as a city and a more tourist-friendly destination. It now has a population of over 55,000, and though Niagara Falls obviously remains the main draw, a number of attractions beyond the falls have sprung up to keep visitors comfortable and entertained. It is a great tourist attraction and is always worth the trip.

In 2003 the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation was formed still stands as the official tourism and promotion agency of Niagara Falls andNiagara County USA. For more information on the history of Niagara Falls visit Niagara Falls History.