The Old Iron Scow Breaks Free after a Century

Old Scow Before stormThe once statue-like boat has broken free. For generations, the sight of the Old Iron Scow has been a popular part of taking in the Falls and the haunting story of the ship captivates millions of visitors. 

In 1918, the ship was manned by sailors when it ran aground on a sandbar, causing the connecting cables to snap. This sent the boat and its sailors hurling into the rapids. The ship hit a shelving rock that jolted it to a stop one-third of a mile

from the 167-foot Horseshoe Falls.

A team of volunteers saved two of the sailors as they watched the boat go down. The boat has been stuck in the same place since then — except for now. 

Storm of the Century

On October 31, 2019, a storm from the Northeast brought winds over 50 miles per hour through the falls. These insane winds, and the increased flow of the Niagara River, pushed the Old Iron Scow free, causing it to roll 160 feet downriver. There it now sits, rolled onto its side — even closer to the edge of the falls. 

Having sat in place for more than a century, the ship’s repositioning has caught the attention of Niagara Falls’ fans and visitors. With the constant exposure to water and air,  the boat had been rusting and rotting away before our eyes. Many believe that the little movement caused by the wind was just enough to cause a fracture in the ship’s remaining structure, thus causing the ship to break the hold of the rock outcropping it held onto and float downstream.

Old Scow After StormWhat’s Next for the Old Iron Scow?

 The boat will be inspected again in its current position to ensure that it will remain secure. Where it is now can affect boat tours, power plants, and more, which is why this investigation needs to happen. 

Many are concerned about the boat and the threat it could pose to the health and well-being of the Falls and the tourism it provides, but officials are confident that the boat will remain put. 

For more details about this update, click here.


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