Skip to main content

The National Road - Pennsylvania - Mason-Dixon Line and Petersburg Toll House

The National Road travels through and plays a large part in Southwestern Pennsylvania History.  Entering the state on Route 40 from Maryland at the State Line, a remnant of Pennsylvania's automobile past can be seen.  It is an old state line marker made of concrete and was most likely at the time over 50 years old. When I took these photos in 2000 or 2001 the marker was mainly intact.  Today, the marker it appears that the marker is no longer there.  There is also a stone marker for the Mason-Dixon Line where the National Road crosses the state line.  I had never noticed it, but Pete Zapadka has


These concrete markers at state lines were placed throughout Pennsylvania 50-70 years.  Many still stand in various conditions.

Just a bit further west at the summit of Winding Ridge is an example of the old tourist motor lodge.  The Dixie Motel is an old-fashioned six room motor lodge and gas station.  The motel sits just north of the Mason-Dixon Line and another Mason-Dixon marker from a 1902 re-survey of the line can be found.  The Dixie Motel still offer rooms at $19/night and advertises that you can sleep or get gas on the Mason-Dixon Line.

The first town in Pennsylvania, Addison, sits a few miles west of the Dixie Motel.  Here, along an old alignment of US 40, sits an original piece of the early National Road.  The Petersburg Toll House, built in 1835, still stands today.  The toll house which collected tolls until 1906 is owned and preserved by the Great Crossings Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.  The state of Pennsylvania donated the building to the chapter in 1949. 

The Petersburg Toll House in Addison, PA.
The Petersburg Toll House was one of six Pennsylvania Toll Houses along the National Road.  Of the six, Petersburg and the Searights Toll House (to the west of Uniontown) are the only two toll houses still standing.  A third, the LaValle Toll House, is located in Maryland. The tollkeeper lived at the toll house rent free and was paid an annual salary.

The toll rates for the old National Road.
The Petersburg Toll House is constructed of native stone.  It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  The Toll House is open to visitors by appointment only.

Site Navigation:
Sources & Links:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Goodbye Interstate 495; Hello Interstate 87

It seems like yesterday when I blogged about new Future Interstate 495 signs that were going to be installed along US 64 along the Knightdale Bypass and along the way to Rocky Mount.  Well after just three years, Interstate 495 is officially no more.  This week NCDOT crews began to install Interstate 87 shields along the Raleigh Beltline and Knightdale Bypass from Southeast Raleigh to Rolesville Road in Wendell.  The new interstate designation follows Interstate 440 west from I-40 near Garner leaving the Beltline at the Knightdale Bypass and following US 64/264 about another 12 or so miles until the six lane portion of the Knightdale Bypass ends just beyond Business US 64.

Eventually, Interstate 87 will continue east along US 64 past Zebulon, Rocky Mount and Tarboro to Williamston where it will head north and northeast along US 17 into Virginia and Norfolk.  The new signs reflect the first official section of Interstate 87 in North Carolina - as the Knightdale Bypass meets national I…

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville. 

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What is unknown (at least to…

Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

1926-1930 Alignment 

Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

Railroad Avenue
-  Cherry Avenue
-  Broadway Street
-  Divisadero Street
-  H Street
-  Belmont Avenue
-  Golden State Avenue

1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

Sometime between 1930 to …