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 Francis Abbott

Francis Abbott

Birth
England
Death 30 Jun 1831 (aged 27–28)
Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, USA
Burial Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 43885195 · View Source
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Known as the Hermit of Niagara. He arrived at Niagara Falls in June of 1829 and began living in the forest on Goat Island. The island had only one small log cabin that had been previously erected an occupied by a pioneer family before the island was purchased by Peter and Augustus Porter. The cabin had since been abandoned. He had asked the Porters for permission to live on Goat Island but this request was denied. Despite this lack of permission, he took up residence in the cabin. He was the sole resident of Goat Island for the next two years, first at the original cabin and later at a second one he constructed. He became a part of folklore with his daily antics among the tourists. Abbott would entertain the tourists by performing balancing acts on the wooden pier leading to Terrapin Tower at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls and could be seen bathing at the small cascade, later named Hermit's Cascade, just upriver from the Falls. He was said to be of English descent, seemingly well-read and educated. Somewhere around 2 pm on June 30, 1831, he was witnessed by a passing ferryman to enter the water below the American Falls after neatly folding his clothes on shore. He appeared to be bathing. The ferryman saw Abbott go under the water surface and not come back up. A search that day continued for several hours without success. On June 21st, 1831, the body was recovered from the Niagara River near Fort Niagara eleven days after he disappeared. It is unknown whether his death was suicide or accident. Found chiseled into a rock on Luna Island possibly by Abbott was the inscription: "All is Change, Eternal Progress, No Death".


Inscription

Francis Abbott, the Hermit of Niagara
Died June 10, 1831
He died in his 28th year

Gravesite Details One article states that he was buried in an area of the cemetery used for transients and that the marker was neglected and unreadable.

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  • Created by: Vincent Astor
  • Added: 3 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43885195
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Abbott (1803–30 Jun 1831), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43885195, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Vincent Astor (contributor 46857808) .