The first daredevil to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel wasn't some brash young man looking to make headlines. It was a 63-year-old school teacher who just wanted to drum up some retirement money by becoming the Queen of the Mist.
She decided she would be the first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Taylor used a custom-made barrel for her trip, constructed of oak and iron and padded with a mattress. On October 24, 1901, her 63rd birthday, Annie Taylor was set adrift near the American shore, south of Goat Island.