Tourist vandalism at Niagara Falls

Goat Island is said to be covered with verdant forest, but it is no longer verdant, for it shows the ravages of those who wish some one to know they had visited Niagara. Important news, this, that requires those beautiful registers of God's own building for its recording. The large majestic beech trees, among whose verdant branches the orioles and tanagers poured forth their rich notes once whispered from all their wealth of emerald leaves invitations to the weary to come and enjoy the sanctuary of healing coolness and restful shade and shelter. Many were the travelers who left the hot, dusty highways for the cool, dewy carpet of velvety moss in the woodland solitude, where numerous wild flowers and sweet-scented ferns filled all the air with fragrance. The noble beech trees throw up their naked branches as if pointing ghostly fingers of accusation to the carelessness and indifference of those vandal days. Now these decaying emblems stand scarred and desolate, "Monuments to fond hearts and foolish heads."

"Here, as in by-gone days, no song of bird or wealth of plumage gladdens its forlorn branches; no lovely flowers or shade-loving moss and fern make patches of emerald and gold;" no weary pedestrian turns aside from the hot, dusty path where the heated air flows in tremendous rays unless to decipher some name on the bark where Nature in pity is covering the scars with the lovely woodbine.

Some people evidently spent more time in laboriously carving their names than in viewing the wondrous beauty of the Falls. When they perchance do gaze at them one can almost hear them shooting, "Behold us, Niagara, we are here," or "Just as we expected, only a big pile of water." Better it were to leave a living tree like the palm that the loving hands of Queen Victoria planted in the Hiles' estate at Cannes, France. Here groups of weary American soldiers gazing up at its lovely fronded foliage, then out over the deep blue Mediterranean, beheld a sunset sky like a more vast sea of amethyst through which a few orange colored clouds were idly drifting. They forgot for a time the horrors of war and as they caught a view of the far-flushing Alpine peaks that appeared like vast walls of alternate shades of crimson and purple rising from a golden sea of light they joined in the twilight prayer of the universe to Him who made such wondrous beauty for the delight of man.

It was here that Victoria showed by her queenly life the right to her title. Her memory still remains verdant in the hearts of her countrymen whom she showed in a thousand acts of charity and nobleness that "The crown does not make the queen."

Memories of delight steal o'er you as you recall again the many noble trees at Mt. Vernon. Just north of the brick wall of the flower garden are two magnificent tulip trees towering in their stately grandeur far above their companions; filling their branches with a wealth of creamy bell-shaped blossoms which like innumerable swinging censers scatter delicious incense on the passing breeze. The master of those beautiful and spacious grounds has long since departed; but when we gaze upon those magnificent trees planted by his hands we seem to catch the spirit of the man whispered by all their green leaves, melodies clearer and sweeter than any music we had heard before.

We have been straying from the Falls but as we said people are more interesting.

At the edge of the Canadian channel are the Three Sister Islands, so named because the three daughters of General Whitney were the first white women to cross to the outer island long before the bridges were built.