Dutch visitors left the first written accounts of the Great Falls of the Mohawk River at Cohoes during the 1640s. Generations of sightseers, poets, and artists followed to look at the falls, hear their roar, and feel the spray.
The Cataract House opened above Cohoes Falls in 1860. Rebuilt and enlarged after a fire, it was operated by William Gwynn from 1867 until 1912. It burned to the ground soon after that.
Cataract House, Cohoes Falls. N. Y.
Parties visiting this section of the Country should make it a special object to visit these "FALLS," it being one of the grandest sights for miles around. The Cataract House is beautifully situated upon a bluff overlooking the Falls, and from its Observatory the Country can be seen for miles around. It is one of the most delightful places we know of, the cool breeze from the Falls always mitigating the intensity of the heat.
The Falls are three miles from Troy, eight from Albany, and but a short distance from Shaker Village.
No expense has been spared to make the Cataract "Excelsior," in addition to the beautiful scenery surrounding the same. The artificial Fall 123 feet, the Falls of the "Mighty Mohawk" 86 feet. The Walk in the Dell, on the bed of the river, &c. &c. combine to make this a very attractive resort.
Pleasure Gondolas are on the Pond near the Cataract House; the Scenery from the many windows in the large Billiard room is surprisingly beautiful, and a spacious Ball Room for the accommodation of Sleighing Parties is attached to the House.
Dinners and Suppers served in the most recherch? style, and the Stabling Department is complete.
A ride or walk through the Town of Cohoes, famous by its unexcelled water power and princely factories, business streets and churches, thronged, with well-to-do people, cannot fail to favorably impress a stranger - adding City charms to the Cataract House, situated on the summit of Mohawk Street - a secluded spot in Nature's Garden
WM. H. Gwynn, Proprietor.