During the 1830’s the United States Government decided to turn over the maintenance of the National Road, first road built with Federal Funds and opened to the public in 1818, to the States through which it passed.


The road was expensive to maintain, with holes and ruts developing due to heavy transportation of good and people moving west and east.

Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia (Now West Virginia) turned the road going from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling Creek, Va. Into a toll road.

Toll House’s were constructed about fifteen miles apart, for the purpose of collecting money for road maintenance and salary for Toll Keepers. The Toll House Keeper lived in the Toll House rent free, and received a salary of two hundred dollars a year.

The Petersburg Toll House was constructed of Native Stone from the specifications and drawings of Richard Delafield, Captain of Engineers. It was erected in 1835 according to an agreement between William Hopwood, contractor and Stephen Hill and Hugh Keys, Commissioners of the Cumberland Road, State of Pennsylvania, for the sum of $1,530. The Petersburg Toll House was know as Gate Number One, since it was the first Toll Gate after crossing the Maryland Line into Pennsylvania.

Each day many, many covered wagons, stagecoaches, freight wagons, droves of animals and flocks of fowl, etc. stopped to pay their toll. "The great westward movement was on with full force.

Records show Toll Collections of just under $1,800 per year. The very interesting tolls were as follows:


On the Cumberland Road in


After the railroads came and could haul freight and people faster and cheaper- the toll roads saw less and less traffic. The last recorded toll was collected in 1906.

The State then rented the Toll Houses as rental property. In 1919 Great Crossing Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution rented the Toll House to hold their meetings in. It took quite a bit of repair work to get the Toll House in order.

Later they learned that an oil company was trying to purchase it to demolish it, and to build a concrete block gasoline station. Mrs. William Endsley, the regent, called the group together, saying "girls, we cannot let this happen. We must purchase this building immediately to save it for posterity and for its great Historical value.

It was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1976. Great Crossing Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution have kept it in good repair all of these years; but now learn that it needs major repair, due to time and the elements. They have been having repair work done by a trained Colonial Restoration Person, who knows what needs to be done, and how to do it. Today it stands as one of the most interesting historical landmarks in Pennsylvania.

The Toll House stands by the road. Reminiscing of the drastic changes it has seen along this road. From all horse drawn vehicles, to cars, trucks, motorcycles, vans, trailers and all. From the "Hub" of all traffic, to the hundreds of visitors that calls. It stands as a "Beacon" of the past. To share its history, and make it last. ‘Come visit us’, and see how we lived in the Past".

NOTE: This history was copiled by "The Old Petersburg-Addison Historical Society" and posted by Lawson L. Duckworth

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