The first recorded harnessing of Niagara Falls power was in 1759 by Daniel Joncairs. On the American side of the Falls he dug a small ditch and drew water to turn a wheel which powered a sawmill. In 1805 brothers Augustus and Peter Porter expanded on Joncairs idea. They bought the American Falls from New York State at public auction. Using Joncairs old site they built a gristmill and tannery which stayed in business for twenty years.

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