Maria Spelterina Maria Spelterina was just 23 years old when she too attempted to cross the gorge high overhead on a tightrope. In 1876 she performed with such grace and ease that she appeared to make the whole stunt look easy.
She also made the trip several times walking backwards and with peach baskets attached to her feet. On July 26th 1876 Maria Spelterini made a final crossing. Ms. Spelterini left Niagara, never to return. Her life and death remain somewhat of a mystery.