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Pams And Jims Have Been Coming To Niagara Falls For Years

October 12, 2009 at 1:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week's episode of "The Office" featured two timeless romances: the marriage of Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly (played by John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer), and the long infatuation between tourists and Niagara Falls. Pam mentioned in an earlier episode that she and Jim picked the border city because of its distance from Scranton -- which didn't deter their coworker from attending as she'd hoped—but the city's history as a tourist destination dates back to the 18th century.

Visits to the geological wonder picked up after the Civil War when railroad officials capitalized on it as a destination. Back in the day, couples didn't come to (spoiler!) get married on the Maid of the Mist boat ride; they enjoyed it on their honeymoon. While still several days' journey from many East Coast cities, the falls allowed newlyweds -- from the upper classes first, but later middle and working-class spouses too—to get away and enjoy each other's company, sort of like a latter day Hawaii. Its attractions changed with the times: After World War I, motels sprung up so couples could take their cars on vacation with them.

The first Maid of the Mist launched in 1846 but closed shortly thereafter because tourists preferred the brand-new suspension bridge that was built between the U.S. and Canadian sides of the falls. Today, you can ride it for $13.50 ($7.85 ages 6-12, free under 6) but only between April 1st and November 1st, because Ontario Hydro controls the water level to ensure power is produced throughout the winter.

Of course, tourists today also have the option of seeing the falls via helium balloon (on the American side) and cable car (on the Canadian side), which eases some congestion among the 20 million estimated visitors who fall for the falls every year.

Normally filmed in Los Angeles, "The Office" shot on location in August on regularly scheduled trips of the Maid of the Mist and a bed and breakfast on the American side called the Red Coach Inn.

Related Stories:
· Fans toast ‘Office’ wedding [Buffalo News]
· Tourist Traps: Niagara Falls' Clifton Hill [Jaunted]
· Sienna Miller Goes Bareback At Niagara Falls [Jaunted]

[Photo: NBC.com/The_Office]

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