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A sluiceway and millrace enabled a six-foot head of water to turn waterwheels running sawmills, a gristmill, and other machinery.At the same point a complex of barns and other buildings was erected.Before Tarkinton could get down, hunter Josiah Phelps ran to the lake, entered the water, and asserted the right to name it Lake Phelps.Along the shores of the 16,000-acre lake, the explorers found high ground accessible only by foot.Tyrrell bore the name of Sir John Tyrrell, one of the Lords Proprietors of the colony.
Charles Pettigrew (1744-1807) had expanded his plantation to the shore of Lake Phelps east of the canal upon acquiring the right to use the waterway in 1789.
The debtors mortgaged their interests, and Collins and his son were able to acquire all of the property by 1816 an undetermined amount by then through a series of purchases dating back to 1801.
The Collins family thus became the major landowners in the area, the only other people of comparable substance being the Pettigrews.
All incoming heavy freight at the plantation arrived by the ditch.
This waterway also furnished power at a point perhaps a quarter of a mile from the lake.