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A Great Waterfall

The Illustrated London News, vol. 44, no. 1239, p. 35.

January 9, 1864

A Great Waterfall.--A detachment of troops recently scouting in the valley of the Snake or Lewis fork of the Columbia discovered a waterfall which, it is said, is entitled to the distinction of being called the greatest in the world. The entire volume of Snake River pours over a sheer precipice 198 ft. high, 38 ft. higher than Niagara. Snake River is fully as large as the Niagara, and the cascade is one solid sheet or body. The locality of this immense waterfall is near the point heretofore designated as the Great Shoshone or Salmon Falls of that river, but they have always been enveloped in mystery. Almost a dozen years ago the writer passed along the Snake River road. For two days we heard the roaring of these falls, but learned no more respecting them than if they had been in the moon. It was said that there were a series of falls and rapids, making a descent of 700 ft. in seven miles, and the sound gave colour to the report. For hundreds of miles across the great plain Snake River flows through a canon, with vertical walls hundreds of feet high. It is only at long intervals that salient points are found by which the river can be reached. The road crosses from point to point of the bends, only approaching close to the river where there is a chance to descend for water. From these facts very few, if any, of the tens of thousands of adventurers that have crossed the plains have ever looked upon the great falls. The late discoverers report, beside the main cataract, many others of less height, varying from 20 ft. to 50 ft. each, near by. Some day they will be visited by the tourist and pleasure-seeker, and looked upon as frequently and familiarly as Niagara is today; and it will be admitted that, with the stupendous grandeur of their surroundings, they are as far beyond Niagara as Niagara now excels the balance of the world.--New York World.

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