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Video Tour

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Numbered sites on this 1873 map of Florence, Massachusetts represent key sites of the NAEI, which was located in this community from 1842-1846.

1. Florence Walking Tour: Sojourner Truth Statue

Sojourner Truth Statue: Begin the tour at the statue of Sojourner Truth with an overview of the NAEI and the life of this inspiring leader (5 minute video)

2.Florence Walking Tour: Pine Grove

Pine Grove:Hear how the community became a destination on the Underground Railroad in the 1840s. Still a pine grove, NAEI members gathered here for talks and spiritual enrichment (6 minute video)

3. Florence Walking Tour: Northampton Silk Co

Dam Site: Learn why a failed silk mill attracted the members of the NAEI (3 minute video)

4. Florence Walking Tour: Factory

Nonotuck Silk Factory: Hear about the Spartan Living conditions at the NAEI and explore its communitarian philosophy of sharing resources. The factory is featured as the Nonotuck Silk Mill in this 1873 map (6 minute video)

5. Florence Walking Tour: Austin Ross Homestead

Austin Ross Homestead: See the farm that served as Agricultural Department of the NAEI. Today it is part of the National Park Service's Underground Railroad Network (2 minute video)

6. Florence Walking Tour: David Ruggles

Ruggles Water Cure: Learn how David Ruggles, African-American Conductor on the Underground Railroad also founded a health care facility (3 minute video)

Silk Reels Demonstration

See Smith College Professor Marjorie Senechal demonstrate the difficult art of reeling silk fibers from cocoons, using a replica of an 1840s Piedmont Reeler built by her students.

NAEI Video

Watch the entire video of Steve Strimer’s walking tour of Florence, Massachusetts: “In the Footsteps of Sojourner Truth.”

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