Alton in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
"Godfrey [Illinois] was in the forefront of the early-day road paving enterprise of a century ago…that was the day of the celebrated plank toll roads." - Alton Evening Telegraph, July 17, 1952
In 1836, during construction of Monticello Seminary, Benjamin Godfrey saw a need to build a road connecting Monticello to the local quarry and Lower Alton. Workers used oak timbers from Godfrey's land to create a plank road that began at 4th and Belle streets in downtown Alton and led north to the toll house at "Five Points" near 16th and Belle streets. The road continued northwest to what is now U.S. Highway 67/Godfrey Road and then north to Godfrey's mansion. There was another toll house on the grounds of the Seminary. Travelers paid a five-cent round trip fee. The five-mile stretch provided the shortest route from Monticello to Lower Alton and made it much easier for farmers to transport their goods to the river.
Erected 2019 by Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Committee (sponsored by North Alton Godfrey Business Council). (Marker Number 5.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1836.
Location. 38° 55.304′ N, 90° 11.532′ W. Marker is in Alton, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker is at the intersection of State Street and West Dalmar Avenue, on the right when traveling south on State Street. Marker is in front of Walgreens. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2610 State Street, Alton IL 62002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. North Alton Confederate Cemetery (approx. ¼ mile away); Confederate Cemetery Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Legend of the Piasa (approx. 1.7 miles away); Haskell Playhouse (approx. 1.8 miles away); First Soybeans Planted in Illinois, 1851 (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lyman Trumbull House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Godfrey (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alton.
More about this marker. This is the fifth of nine markers in the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail series.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.