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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chelmsford in Middlesex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Oldest Toll House

 
 
Oldest Toll House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, May 24, 2010
1. Oldest Toll House Marker
Inscription.
Middlesex Canal
Toll House
1832
Oldest Canal Toll
House in America.

 
Erected by Heirs of Judge Samuel P. Hadley.
 
Location. 42° 35.891′ N, 71° 21.169′ W. Marker is in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, in Middlesex County. Marker is on North Road (Massachusetts Route 4), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chelmsford MA 01824, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First School for Lip-Reading (a few steps from this marker); Revolutionary War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); District No. 1 School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chelmsford (about 500 feet away); Chelmsford’s “Minuteman Boulder” (about 600 feet away); Soldiers and Sailors Monument (approx. 2.8 miles away); Chief of the Penacooks (approx. 2.8 miles away); a different marker also named Chelmsford (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chelmsford.
 
More about this marker. The house and marker are located in Penham Park.
 
Regarding Oldest Toll House.
Toll House image. Click for full size.
By Roger W. Sinnott, May 24, 2010
2. Toll House
Between 1802 and 1851, the Middlesex Canal linked the Merrimack River at Lowell with other locations as far away as the Boston suburb of Charlestown, a 27-mile stretch. Horse-drawn barges transported grain and lumber along it, while small boats carried passengers. Eventually, railroads rendered the canal obsolete.

The toll house originally stood 3 miles northwest of its present location, where the Middlesex Canal intersected the Merrimack River in Lowell. In the 1970s, heirs of Lowell canal buff Samuel P. Hadley
donated the quaint building to the town of Chelmsford. During summers since the mid-1990s it has been used as an information booth for visitors to Chelmsford.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry. The story of the Middlesex Canal. (Submitted on May 26, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.) 

2. Towpath Topics. The March 2002 issue of this newsletter has a great article, “The Roaming Middlesex Canal Tollhouse,” by Jane Drury. (Submitted on May 29, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable BuildingsWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 26, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 1,176 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 26, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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