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Watertown, NY Mill Fire, Jul 1833

On Sunday, July 7, 1833, the mill was discovered to be on fire which had already made such headway that it became apparent at once that it was doomed. The fire was apparently of incendiary origin as the Prejudice against machinery was still great. The loss was S200,000, only S25,000 of which was covered by insurance. It ruined the Beebees, Levi and Washington, and in 1834, Washington advertised for sale, his fine, stone, house on Washington street. And it almost ruined Watertown. With the panic of the 1830s following on shortly, the advertising columns of the local newspapers were filled with notices of foreclosures and forced sales.

Probably the loss of the Beebee factory was the greatest industrial blow that Watertown has ever received….

150 years of Watertown; Watertown, N.Y.: Watertown Daily Times, 1950, pages 17-18

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