This powerhouse was built in 1935 to house a low-head, Francis-type turbine and a General Electric remote controlled generator. The turbine and generator were purchased by The Collins Company from a municipality in Lenoir, North Carolina and arrived in Collinsville by rail.
The construction of the powerhouse, canal, dam, and control gates, as well as the installation of the generator, were all done by Collins Company employees, under the direction of Guy F. Whitney, the plant engineer.
The Collins Company, as a riparian owner (meaning they owned land next to the river and certain uses of the water), had controlling interest in the Farmington River Water Power Company, a Massachusetts chartered organization. The Farmington River watershed above the Collinsville dam is over 330 square miles in area and produces a volume of over 21 billion gallons of water annually.
This is one of five turbines which the Collins Company built to supply electricity to their own operation. Excess electricity was put into the State's power grid and purchased by HELCO (CL&P).
The Collins Company was known worldwide for manufacturing superior quality edge tools, among them machetes for the South American and Central American countries and axes for domestic markets.