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The Otter Creek at Middlebury Falls

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Come along with award-winning producer James Gero to a world before electricity, gas power, steam, and all our accustomed fossil fuels that now belch and spew virulent toxins into our fragile and vital environment, poisoning all the creatures of our irreplaceable ecosystem. This was a time when men harnessed the power of water. Constant and always renewable. Reliable and most importantly a very green non-polluting endless resource.

Men in these bygone days also harnessed the power of the wind navigating the world on an endless journey of exploration. We never feel the earth turn but in doing so it sets in motion all the laws of gravitational motion. However, let us all look to the sky in doing so we may watch the heavens of clouds, feel the wind on our faces caressing the movement. We are now all turning with the earth and the power of weather, wind, and water. Harness this power and this alone and we may begin to save the earth. Earth is our only home. We are just a dot in a black abyss. This is our time to feel the earth turn. It is earth day, it is earth day, it is always earth day.

For three centuries the Middlebury falls powered a bustling mill district. In 1802 Eben Judd built the first marble factory in the United States in Frog Hollow. By 1808 his mill was sawing up to 10,000 feet of local marble annually. From 1760 onward, the Middlebury falls powered numerous mills, the products from these mills were sold as far away as New York City. The mills produced milled lumber, iron products, flour, paper, guns, textiles, marble products, and architectural woodwork.

Produced with facilities provided by Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM).

Episode Number: 
Original Airdate: 
Monday, May 20, 2019

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