Searight Toll House

       
 

No highway in America has a more historic background or played a more important part in the opening of the Western Territory than the old National Road. The Boston Post Road, Boones Trace, The Natchez Trace, The Oregon Road and The Santa Fe Trail, all have their places in American history. They have an important part in the development of our country but the National Road has a story all its own.

The National Road was authorized by the federal government in 1806, in response to the need to connect East and West by a national transportation system. The section which crossed Pennsylvania began in Cumberland, Maryland - thus earning the title of the "Cumberland Road" and ended in Wheeling, in what was then Virginia.

This project is unique in our nation's history for it was and remains the only road system wholly constructed by the Federal Government. Construction of the road through mountain and forest wilderness was both costly and tedious. It took five years to complete this first section, and it was estimated that the road between Uniontown and Washington, Pennsylvania, alone cost $6,400 a mile. Construction on the road to the west, through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois continued after travel on the Pennsylvania section began. In time, the cost and difficulty in maintaining the road made the federal government anxious to hand the responsibility for it to the states which it crossed. In 1835 Pennsylvania agreed to administer her part of the road, and authorized the erection of six Tollhouses, approximately fifteen miles apart, to aid in the collection of the necessary revenue.

Searights Tollhouse recieved its name from its location near the village of Searights, named for its most prominent citizen, William Searight. Searight owned a prosperous tavern on the National Road , the ruins of which may still be seen today. He had been a contractor for the road, and was later appointed commissioner of the Pennsylvania section, but he seems to have had no connection with the tollhouse itself. The years immediately following the construction of the Tollhouses saw a never ending stream of traffic, both east and west. Wagoners, drovers, stage drivers, and mail expresses left their colorful imprints on the road's history. With the coming of the railroads to Western Pennsylvania in the 1850's, traffic over the road declined, and after the Civil War it was used chiefly for local trips. Tolls were collected until 1905. The advent of the automobile in the early twentieth century rescued the road from disrepair, and by the 1920's the National Road was reincarnated as U.S. 40. The Searights Tollhouse is one of two remaining of the original six commissioned Tollhouses in Pennsylvania.

 

   

 

 

 

 

         
 

Searight Toll House
Hours of operation:
from mid-May to mid-October: Tues. through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Sundays, 2 pm to 6 pm.
Admission: Adults- $1
Children- Free

     
         
 

Directions From the Inne at watsons Choice
234 Balsinger Road, Uniontown, PA 15401
Head east on Balsinger Rd/Old State Rte 21 toward S&T Dr 0.2 mi
Turn left onto Denney Rd 1.0 mi
Slight right to stay on Denney Rd 0.2 mi
Continue onto Stoney Point Rd 1.1 mi
Turn right onto Haddenville Rd 1.3 mi
Turn left onto US-40 W
Destination will be on the left

Google Map

     
         
  While you're in the area, you might check out these attractions.

Mt. St. Macrina
Nemacolin Castle
Historic Brownsville
Flatiron Building
Dunbar Creek Bridge

 


     
         
         
         
         
   

   
   
234 Balsinger Road
Village of Balsinger
Uniontown, Pa 15401
 
724-437-4999
or
1-888-820-5380
 
 

Bill and Nancy Ross
Inn Keepers

   

 

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