When Charles Burleigh improved the design of the rock drill, only one thing stood in the way of success. The need for compressed air, and lots of it! The tunnelers needed a constant supply of energy to supply the large compressors at the compressor building.
A rock crib dam was built about a half mile up river to provide water power. A ten-foot deep sluiceway was dug from the dam to the compressor building down river where the water would turn the turbines and power the compressors and other machinery.
On November 24, 1865 water flowed into the sluiceway for the first time.
This picture shows the east side of what is left of the dam and endwall structure.
The large timber cribbing was spiked together to form a continuoussquare cell structure that was filled tightly packed boulders to form the dam. Much of the wood that is below water can still be seen today.
This old picture shows the water filled sluiceway and surrounding farmlands.
Another picture tells the same story.
This picture shows the beginning of the rock cut that is just above the dam. There are places carved into the rock to hold large timbers to support gates to control the flow of water. Out of sight to the right there is a ten-foot wide diversion channel cut into the rock for water control.
This picture shows the sluiceway as it appears today.
This picture shows the compressor building looking down from what is today River Road. The water flowed under the wood decking and down twenty feet to the turbine pits and then out to the Deerfield River.