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La Vale in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The La Vale Toll House
 
The La Vale Toll House Marker Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, June 7, 2006
1. The La Vale Toll House Marker
 
Inscription. Toll houses were built along the National Road as a result of a 25 year national debate as to whether or not the federal government should be responsible for funding road improvements. While there was agreement on the idea that those who used the road should help defray maintenance costs, it was also thought unconstitutional for the federal government to charge tolls. The debate was finally resolved when it was decided to transfer ownership of the National Road to individual states. After Maryland accepted ownership, an elaborate system of rates and fares was established based on the estimated amount of damage different vehicles and animals could cause the road. During the La Vale Toll House's first year of operation, almost $10,000 was collected.

Toll collectors earned $200 a year and had free living quarters. "Pikers," travelers unwilling to pay tolls, made it difficult for toll keepers, as they tried to escape by avoiding the road. The Addison and Searights Toll Houses are of similar architecture, and can still be seen as you continue west on the National Road into Pennsylvania.

The La Vale Toll House was built to look like a gatehouse, lending it an interesting shape. The two-story brick structure has seven sides;
 
The La Vale Toll House Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, June 7, 2006
2. The La Vale Toll House
 
five are equal in length while two are longer.

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
 
Location. 39° 38.258′ N, 78° 51.096′ W. Marker is in La Vale, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker can be reached from National Highway SW (U.S. 40), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Toll Gate House (a few steps from this marker); “Spendelow Camp” (approx. 1.2 miles away); The National Road (approx. 2 miles away); Clarysville General Hospital (approx. 2 miles away); Brady's Crossing (approx. 3.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in La Vale.
 
More about this marker. Another American Byways marker in "The Historic National Road — The Road that Built the Nation" series.
 
Regarding The La Vale Toll House. There is a small park with picnic tables at the toll house location with a little bit of parking.
 
Also see . . .
 
Marker, as seen from the toll house Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck, October 20, 2007
3. Marker, as seen from the toll house
One of the toll gate posts sits in the foreground. The marker is on the strip of pavement to the right.
 
 LaVale Toll Gate House, Last Remaining in Maryland. This page has a short history, days and times it is open, and tour information. (Submitted on July 20, 2006.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Text on the Daughers of the American Revolution Tablet
Dedicated to the Pioneers who with heroic sacrifice and undaunted courage blazed this old trail now known as The National Highway and thus opened "The Gateway to the West." –Erected by Cresap Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Anno Domini 1931.
    — Submitted July 20, 2006.

 
Additional keywords. LaVale Toll House, Tollhouse
 
DAR 1931 Tablet Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, June 7, 2006
4. DAR 1931 Tablet
 
 
Rates of Toll Posted at the Toll House Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, June 7, 2006
5. Rates of Toll Posted at the Toll House
Click on the image to enlarge.
 
 
Toll House and DAR Monument Photo, Click for full size
By J. J. Prats, June 7, 2006
6. Toll House and DAR Monument
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on July 20, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,927 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 20, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on March 10, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   4, 5, 6. submitted on July 20, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.
 
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