Auction 170, Lot 292

"Burke's Descriptive Guide; or, the Visitors' Companion to Niagara Falls: Its Strange and Wonderful Localities. By an Old Resident",

Subject: Niagara Falls, New York, Canada

Period: 1850 (published)


Color: Black & White

4.1 x 6.4 inches
10.4 x 16.3 cm

This early Niagara Falls guidebook by Andrew Burke includes a Map of Niagara Falls and Adjoining Shores (6.2 x 9.5") at the front of the volume. The map shows the Falls, Iris Island, the village of Niagara Falls, and a number of references for the reader surround the map image. The 106 page guide also includes four fold-out views of the Falls from various perspectives, and is noteworthy for its final chapter “The White Canoes. An Indian Legend." This is a very early literary reference to the "Maid in the Mist" story which quickly became a key part of Niagara Falls' marketing efforts and survives to this day.

This is the first edition with a copyright date of 1850 and no date below the publisher’s information on the title page (later editions beginning in 1851 show a date below the publisher’s data). All the Burke guides are rare as they were self-published by the author and only from 1850-57. 16mo, hardbound in green cloth with gilt title on front cover. There has been only 1 auction record for any Burke guide in the last 30 years.


Condition: B+

The map is very good with a few faint spots and a short binding tear at right. The folding plates are moderately toned, but the the text is clean and bright. Covers have light wear.

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $120

Closed on 11/14/2018