Location: Western Niagara County, northeast of the Hamlet of Gasport.
From Route 31 in Gasport follow Main Street (which changes to Hartland Road once you have crossed the Erie Canal) north for 0.7 of a mile to Slayton Settlement Road and turn right (east). In 0.5 of a mile turn left (north) onto Quaker Road and find a place to park along the road.
Otto Dam and Falls can only be viewed from the roadside. From your parking spot on Quaker Road walk back to the intersection with Slayton Settlement Road. Otto Dam and Falls are located about 200 feet south of the intersection and can only be viewed from the shoulder of Slayton Settlement Road (keep an eye out for traffic).
At the Otto Dam the East Branch of Eighteenmile Creek pores over a 61 foot wide by 12 foot high dam that is built on top of a seven foot high waterfall. Precisely when the original dam was built is unknown, possibly in the late 1840's. The dam was restored in 1990.
Gottlieb and Anna Otto moved to the area in the early 1860's. They had 15 children. Gottlieb and his oldest son Martin built a flour mill on the eastern end of the dam in 1896. The mill operated until 1960 or so and had many owners over the years, the last being Fay and Alice Lembach. The mill was torn down in 1965 to straighten Slayton Settlement Road.
On the western side of Eighteenmile Creek, a short distance down stream of the dam is Otto Falls. It is 10 feet high and has a 12 foot wide crest. It is located on an overflow channel for the dam.
A view of Otto Dam and Otto Falls from a helicopter -- March 26, 1994
This area is known as the "Mill District" for the five mills that once operated in the area. The ruins of the large four story stone Mabee Mill can be seen a little west of Quaker Road. It was destroyed by fire in 1880. Please do not enter the ruins of the mill. Rocks have been known to fall from the walls. For more information on the mills in this area check out the booklet "Folk of the Mill District" by Elisabeth Steimer. It was published by the Niagara County Historical Society in 1975.