High Falls Genesee River - Beautiful Scenic Waterfall in Rochester, New York
The High Falls of the Genesee River is a large powerful scenic waterfall located right in downtown Rochester, New York. The High Falls drops 96 feet over a large beautiful 200 foot long cliff along the Genesee River as it flows through the city of Rochester in upstate New York.
Beginning in the early 1800's water from the High Falls was diverted along raceways to power mills and industry in Rochester. At one time due in large part to the water power from the High Falls the city was known as the flour capital of the world. Today water from the falls is still being diverted for power in this case for hydroelectricity.
The first American daredevil and really the first celebrity in America was Sam Patch. Patch became famous in the early 1800's for jumping into water from high places like ship masts and waterfalls. Sam Patch was the first person to jump over Niagara Falls which he did in 1829. On November 6, 1829 Patch waded out into the water in the middle of the High Falls of the Genesee River and threw his pet bear over the falls. Once Patch saw his bear survive the leap and swim to shore he also jumped over the High Falls.
Sam Patch would jump from high places and pass hats around to collect money from people watching. Disappointed with the money collected from his first jump over the High Falls of the Genesee, Patch jumped again at the falls one week later but this time from a 25 foot stand.
Hoping to the higher jump would make him more money Patch reportedly came right out of a pub and slipped off the platform and landed in the water with a thud. He never surfaced and people thought maybe he had pulled a stunt on them but on St. Patrick's Day in 1930 a farmer near where the Genesee emptied into Lake Ontario found Sam Patch's body frozen under the ice.
Today the High Falls can be viewed from the pedestrian only Pont De Rennes Bridge from Browns Race or Platt Street near the High Falls Brewing Company. The city of Rochester sometimes lights up the High Falls of Genesee but lit or night this is one beautiful scenic waterfall in New York.
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