Old Petersburg Toll House - Addison, PA

The last original cut stone toll house in Pennsylvania.  Located on Old Route 40.

History of the Petersburg Toll House

As we drive over our country now on the highway system unequaled in the world it is hard to realize Congress in 1806 began a debate lasting 4 decades as to the constitutionality and expenditure for a road only 800 miles long. But the road was built and opened in 1818, maintained free until ownership passed to the States through which it passed in 1831-34. Pennsylvania erected 6 toll houses in preparation of monies to maintain the road as did other States on its course-herein lies our tale of the Petersburg Toll House.


1818 Great Crossings Bridge built, Federal Road build & opened

1831 Road turned over to States and toll houses were authorized

1835 Petersburg built at a cost of $1,530.00

1836 Iron Toll Gates make by William Hatfield who lived near Brownsville, PA.

1840 Nov. 10-Nov. 19, 1841 toll keeper William Condon collected $1,758.87 and received $200.00 salary and the use of the building for his family.

1906 Ended collection of tolls

1909 January 19-Great Crossings Chapter was chartered by Mary C. Endsley.

1949 Property was given to G.C.C. by state.

1966 Searights Restored

1971 Toll House Open July & August on Sunday afternoon

1997 Restoration of the Toll House


The Honorable Andrew Stewart in a speech to Congress January 27, 1829 asserted "Mr. Gallatin was the first man who suggested the plan for making the Cumberland Road." Today we honor Albert Gallatin, second Secretary of the Treasury-United States of America-by establishing his home as the second National Park in Fayette County.

PA Toll Houses

The Pennsylvania toll houses were:

#1 Gate located at the east end of Petersburg (now Addison) Somerset County. Cost to build: $1,530.00.

#2 Gate near Mt. Washington Tavern (1/4 mile west of Fort Necessity)

#3 Gate near Searight’s west of Uniontown

#4 Gate near Bealsville

#5 Gate near Washington

#6 Gate near West Alexander

Only two remain today, #1 Gate, Petersburg (Addison), it is the only hand-cut native stone building and remains unique in that it is essentially the same condition as when the great mass of immigration passed by-headed for a possible better life with their possessions.

The Tolls

The Tolls

Sheep & Hogs-6 cents each score(20)

Cattle-12 cents

Horse & Rider-4 cents

Sled Drawn by 1 Horse - 3 cents

Oxen(pair)-3 cents

Dearborn, Sulk, Chair or Chaise with 1 Horse-6 cents

Additional Horses-3 cents

Chariot, Coach, Coaches, Stage Phaeton or Chaise with 2 Horses and 4 Wheels-12 cents

Carts & Wagons, Wheels 3" not exceeding 8" Breadth-4 cents plus Each Horse Drawing the Vehicle-2 cents

Wagons Over 8" Wheels were FREE

Refusal to Pay Toll-$3.00 FINE


It appears the wider the rims of the wheels were, the cheaper the toll, since lastly all carts and wagons whose wheels exceeding 8" in breadth went merrily by "FREE." The situation here appears to be the wider rims acted on the road surface much as a ‘roller’ but it is puzzling to reason with wider rims the loads must have been heavier and would have made deeper ruts-who knows? No mention is made of a person walking-apparently there was no toll-many walked, having no money to go otherwise. There were those who would leave the main toll road and take a side road to get around a toll house at certain places from whence comes the expression today, "He’s a piker!" meaning a person of doubtful character-one shirking his or her duty.

Who Lived Here

  1. Rudy Faucet: (Michael Rudolph Faucett) married Feb. 6, 1870 to Eliza Jane Walters. Both buried in Addison Cemetery.  9 Children: Harry Clifton, Mary Ellen, Russell Emory, Grace Rebecca, Laura May, Robert Walter, Ida Edna, Alice Ethel, Lula Blanche.
  2. Thomas Grier: Toll Keeper May 1, 1843 to Dec. 31, 1844. Collected $4,466.42 and his salary was $333.33.
  3. Daniel Gibson
  4. David Harzell: 1850 census has him a gate keeper, age 42, son of Nicholas and Dorcas(Settle) Hartzell. Wife: Angelina, age 39.  6 Children: Julian K., age 17; Mary S., age 16; Missoura E., age 13; Caleb F., age 11; Westly J., age 2; Cass, age 1. Cass’s grandaughter said Cass was born in the Toll House in 1849.
  5. Tom Havener: (Thomas Jefferson Havenger) grandfather of Mary Ward, married to Eliza Griffith Dec. 2, 1882. Both buried in Addison Cemetery. 3 Children: Clara, Susie, Robert Griffith
  6. A.J. Andrew Jackson(Jack) Hileman: from a newspaper item, May 1, 1948, his daughters were all born at the toll house. Married in Addison 9-26-1875 to Samantha Bird, daughter of Henry & Mary (Davis) Bird. 5 Children: Gilbert Roscoe, Mrs. A.R. Wiseman of Somerset, Miss Emma Eliza of Somerset, Miss Mary Estelle (Maude) of Somerset, Mrs. Charles Shultz of Chauntaugua, NY. Info from Liane Kilgour–A.J. a/o Abram Hileman & Eliza Turney Hileman. At the same time Jack was a school teacher for 24 years. 1885 appointed a clerk for the Co. Commisioners, reappointed in 1888, served 6 years. 1890 elected Tegister of Recorder for Somerset (moved to Somerset 1885). Leah(Babe) only child born in Toll House. Samantha collected the toll.
  7. Jacob Lobb
  8. Frank Nicklow
  9. Samuel Slabaugh
  10. Nathan Spear
  11. Mathew Spears: 1870 census shows him as Gate Keeper, age 51, with Mathew was Sarah, age 23 and Allen, age 20.
  12. Norman Whalen
  13. Howard Wright: Married to Jenny Miller. 10 Children: Nelson, Julia, Ella, May, Mary Guy, Rebecca, Orvill, Frank, Joe, Helen.
  14. William Condon: Toll Keeper, 11-10-1840 to 11-19-1841, Collected $1,758.87, salary $200.00.

Funding & Research:

The main source of funding to maintain the Toll House is from donations each year.  Much of the repair work is done by husbands of members and friends.  Information on the Toll House was collected from various sources and with the help of researchers, library books, and pictures.  We have documented as much as possible and hope our sources were correct.  This information has been compiled by members of the Great Crossings Chapter, NSDAR, who own and maintain the Toll House.


Open by appointment.

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