Daredevils of Niagara Falls - A Comprehensive History of the Falls, the People & the Places
H O M E
Over The Falls
Annie Taylor
Bobbie Leach
Charles G. Stephens
Jean Albert Lussier
George A. Stathakis
Red Hill Jr.
William Fitzgerald aka Nathan Boya
Karel Soucek
Steve Trotter
John (Dave) Munday
Jeffrey (Clyde) Petkovich and Peter DeBernardi
Jessie Sharp
John (Dave) Munday (second trip)
Steve Trotter (a second time) and Lori Martin
Robert “Bob” Overacker
Kirk Jones


Tightrope Walkers
Clifford Calverly
Blondin
The Great Farini
Maria Spelterina
Steve Peere
Samuel John Dixon
Henry Balleni

Henri Rechatin

Shooting the Rapids
Carlisle Graham
Capt. Joel Robinson
George Hazlett & Sadie Allen
Martha E. Wagenfuhrer
Maud Willard
Red Hill Sr

Swimming the Rapids
Captain Matthew Webb
William Kendall

Stunters
Sam Patch

Lincoln Beachey

The Maid of the Mist
The History of the Maid of the Mist
The Legend of the Maid of the Mist

Miracles at the Falls
The Roger Woodward Story
The Old Scow

Ice Bridges
Tragedy at the Falls

Niagara Falls Bridges
The Early Bridges
Collapse of the Fallsview Bridge
The Second Fallsview Bridge
The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge
The Whirlpool Bridge

Historical Niagara
The History of the Falls
The First Inhabitants
European Discovery
The War of 1812
Navy Island
The Early Tourist Trade
North America's First Museum
The Burning Springs
The Schooner Michigan

The Spanish Aerocar
Dufferin Islands

Incline Railways
Prospect Park Incline Railway
Whirlpool Rapids Incline
Falls Incline Railway

 



 


Henri Julien Rechatin
TIGHTROPE WALKER

In an era when stunting was a viable form of entertainment daredevils had to constantly perform more daring feats. One such tightrope walker was Henri Rechatin. Mr. Rechatin would attempt a crossing of the Whirlpool on the cables on the Spanish Aero Car. This would seem an unlikely choice.

Henri Rechatin using the Spanish Aero Car cables for a tightrope

The Spanish Aero Car cables are not supported by guy wires, so wind can be a problem. The cables are also greased making navigation even more difficult.

In 1975 three people attempted the crossing using an unusual contraption. Early on the morning of June 4th, 1975 Henri Rechatin, his wife Janyck and his friend Frank Lucas made the perilous trip.

Lucas, a motorcycle champion drove a motorcycle on the cable. Attached to the motorcycle were two perches, one above and one below. Janyck would occupy the perch below, hanging from one foot and Rechatin would be on top balancing everything with his pole.

The journey across was not without incident. At one point Rechatin had to stop while Lucas, who had never performed this type of stunt before could regain his composure.

The trio did make it across unscathed. On the 20th anniversary of his tightrope walk Rechatin attempted to secure permission from authorities to repeat his stunt. He was promptly turned down by the Parks Police and made no further attempt to repeat his stunt.

 
Henri Rechatin balances atop a motorcycle being driven by his friend Frank Lucas while Rechatin's wife dangles above the rapids by a rope

 

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