On October 24, 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher from Bay City became the first person to conquer Niagara Falls in a barrel. Annie Edson Taylor hoped plunging over the falls would help her earn some money on the lecture circuit.
She was a widow who had recently failed at an attempt to start a dance school and was near financial ruin. She survived the stunt with just a few minor injuries, and said, “Nobody ought ever to do that again.” Taylor was unable to cash in on her fame, however, and her life ended in poverty. She spent her last years autographing postcards at Niagara Falls.
Michigan Every Day
Marvin Kusmierz , Anna Edson Taylor (1839-1921) entry from Bay Journal.