Niagara Falls N.Y. - Maid of the Mist 12
The first Maid of the Mist steamboat ferry set sail in 1846, crossing the Niagara River below the Niagara Falls. In 1848, a suspension bridge over the river caused a drop in business for the ferry, so owners decided to use the boat for sightseers instead. A second Maid of the Mist was built in 1854, but business began to dwindle a few years later and the ships were sold. In 1885, a new Maid was built, and this one sailed closer to Horseshoe Falls than any had previously. Business flourished and another ship was built; these two were called Maid of the Mist I and II. Fire destroyed the two ships and in 1955, two new vessels were christened Maid of the Mist I and II; this time they were made of steel and powered by diesel engines. Since then, two more ships have been added to the fleet.