A carriage took Annie to the Oxford Hotel where three doctors attended her. Badly bruised and in a state of shock, but with no broken bones, Annie lapsed into occasional delirium, asking vaguely, "Have I gone over the falls yet?" At other times she earnestly thanked God for sparing her life. To newspapermen gathered in her room, she gave a sound piece of advice: "Don't try it."
Assuming the title "Queen of the Mist," Annie waited for offers and the money she expected to flow in: she envisioned herself electrifying audiences all over the nation with her spellbinding story, becoming richer and more famous with every appearance.
But the rigidly corseted, prosaic-appearing schoolteacher, dressed in somber black, was something less than a sensation. Her very ordinary appearance belied her heroism, and she had absolutely no sex appeal. In her raspy monotonous voice her exciting story had all the suspense and drama of a corporation financial report.
Bitterly disillusioned, she returned to her scene of glory, Niagara Falls. There the "Queen of the Mist" sat beside a replica of her barrel, eking out a scanty living by selling autographed pictures of herself. Just a few days before her death on April 29,1921, she made her last statement to the press: "I did what no other woman in the world had nerve enough to do, only to die a pauper."
She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery under a small headstone that a few old friends chipped in to buy. There is no date of birth or death, no mention of husband or child. An 18-word inscription tells her life.
ANNIE EDSON TAYLOR
First To Go Over
The Horseshoe Fall
In A Barrel And Live
OCTOBER 24, 1901