Laying Claim to the Name "Honeymoon Capital of the World"

Crowd getting married

Honeymoons and the City of Niagara Falls have gone hand in hand for a very long time, with the first documented Niagara Falls honeymoon occurring in June of 1801. Theodosia Burr (the American vice president’s daughter) and her husband Joseph Alston visited the city on a delayed honeymoon that even included a visit with the famous Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. 
Throughout the years, the city even became known as the Honeymoon Capital of the World!  From time to time, our popularity as a honeymoon destination has waned and when this happens, some rather interesting events have been promoted to give the destination a needed boost.

The concept of handing out Honeymoon certificates was originally “borrowed” from Niagara Falls, New York, but for some reason, the Canadian certificates quickly became much more popular. Starting in 1949, newlyweds could visit the Chamber of Commerce office to sign the Honeymoon Register and pick up their certificate. As well, coupons for free and discounted tourist activities were often given to the happy couples. In total, almost one million certificates have been given out and are still available today.

In 1993, the Cities of Niagara Falls on both sides of the border attempted to rekindle the romance as a honeymoon destination. A special contest was announced and advertised in over 1000 newspapers in the United States and Canada. Couples who had honeymooned in Niagara Falls were asked to submit letters of their fondest honeymoon memories. Ten winners would be selected to share in prizes worth $20,000. From the more than 400 entries, Saskatoon couple Bill and Eleanor Ryan, who honeymooned here in 1957, were declared the grand prize winners. Festivities for the Valentine’s Day weekend included a memorable toast when a twelve-foot 50 gallon bottle of pink champagne was poured over the Falls by helicopter, followed by a finale of champagne-coloured fireworks.

The most recent event that attempted to solidify the city’s reputation as the Honeymoon Capital occurred on Valentine’s Day in 2000. Called “The Wedding of the Millennium”, organizers originally hoped to attract 1000 couples who would be married en masse in a giant outdoor ceremony at the Oakes Garden Theatre. In the end, 200 couples registered for the event which was still the largest group wedding ever held in the area. Reverend Derek Rymarchuk presided over the group ceremony, assisted by 20 ministers who then married each couple individually (for legal reasons). After all of the couples shared their first snowy kiss, bursts of fireworks over the Falls were enjoyed by all.
 
If you would like to read some of the honeymoon letters, they can be viewed in person or online at https://www.nflibrary.ca/nfplindex/. As well, the Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Honeymoon and Visitor Registers (1949-2011) can be viewed online at any library location using Ancestry Library Edition. Who knows? You might even be able to find your own name!
 

Library Notes

2019-08-20

Honeymoons and the City of Niagara Falls have gone hand in hand for a very long time, with the first documented Niagara Falls honeymoon occurring in June of 1801. Theodosia Burr (the American vice president’s daughter) and her husband Joseph Alston visited the city on a delayed honeymoon that even included a visit with the famous Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. 

2019-08-09

There’s no denying that so far it has been one scorcher of a summer. Every day seems hotter than the last and that humidity is enough to make a stone sweat!

Luckily for you, each branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library comes equipped with air conditioning and a number of fabulous cookbooks you can borrow to whip up some wonderful frozen desserts that will help you chill out.

2019-07-15

As we enjoy the summer weather, thoughts of cooling off may sometimes cross our minds. Some of us may have fond memories of a few local swimming spots that were once used to beat the summer heat. For more than 35 years, thousands of children and adults made the Cyanamid swimming pool their summer destination of choice.

2019-07-08

At the Library, we truly appreciate the outpouring of support for the Interlibrary Loan Service (ILLO) at the Niagara Falls Public Library (NFPL) after the elimination of the ILLO Delivery Service.  We understand the meaningful impact the service has had on many of our customers. As we know how things change in the world, so it does in the Library world.

2019-07-02

Summer has arrived, and the Niagara Falls Public Library is busy with something for everyone! Be sure to pick up our Summer Library Magazine to learn about all the exciting programs and events happening this summer.  

2019-06-24

June is Pride month and Indigenous month. These topics can be difficult to tackle with children. However, they are also empowering and necessary issues for young minds.

Here at the Niagara Falls Public Library, we have a number of incredible books aimed at younger children that will teach them all about a variety of LGBTQ+ issues and about national Indigenous issues.

2019-06-19

School’s almost out, which means summer reading is almost here.  The Niagara Falls Public Library is once again very excited to participate in the TD Summer Reading Club, Canada’s biggest bilingual summer reading program.  Kids of all ages, interests and abilities can read books, earn prizes and have fun, keeping their reading skills sharp so they’ll be ready when September rolls around.

2019-06-11

Throughout the years, Niagara Falls has certainly seen more than its fair share of Royal visitors. On June 7th of this week, it is the 80th anniversary of one such visit. It also was the first visit ever by a reigning British monarch to Canada.

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