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silk mill damThe Nonotuck Silk Mill Dam was part of the property of the NAEI in 1842. In 1840 David Lee Child and Lydia Maria Child, abolitionists from Boston, experimented with growing sugar beets as an alternative to slave grown sugar cane. They processed the beets at the old mill near the dam. Lydia Maria Child arranged for David Ruggles to join the NAEI as a respite from the stress of life in NYC. Her Appeal for That Class of Americans Called Africans moved William Lloyd Garrison to name her the “first woman of the republic.”

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