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TOLL ROADS

TOLL ROADS were once common in Cuyahoga County. They were a means of advancing transportation for commodity goods and services throughout the county to its large market centers. The first toll road in Cuyahoga County, the Wooster Turnpike, was built by land developers Lord & Barber in 1824. Its route began in Cleveland and ended in Wooster. It followed what is now Pearl Rd. / Rt. 42. It ceased operations ca. 1843, when the toll gates were destroyed by a mob over excessive toll charges. By 1827 few toll roads existed in the old Brooklyn area. The State, Pleasant Valley, Broadview, and Schaaf roads were privately constructed. A plank road called Fullerton was a toll road at Schaaf and Rose (Pleasant Valley) roads until 1890. In 1830 a turnpike was built from BEDFORD by way of TINKER'S CREEK through NEWBURGH to Broadway Ave. In 1835 the Parma Independence Plank Rd. was completed. Its exact route is not clear and it ceased operation after 1900.

In 1845 a new, second toll road along what is now Pearl Rd. was proposed; it was established in 1849 as the Wayne, Medina & Cuyahoga Turnpike Co. It ceased operations ca. 1852, when a railroad was completed to BEREA, which diverted the traffic. In 1848 the Lorain St. Plank Rd. ran from Puritas Springs Rd. to W. 98th St. Tollgate houses were at Lorain and W. 98th, Highland Ave., W. 117th, Triskett Rd., and Wooster Rd. in what is now FAIRVIEW PARK. In 1849 a toll plank road was completed from Cleveland to CHAGRIN FALLS. Other plank toll roads ran from Cleveland to Willoughby and ROCKPORT. In Cleveland, Euclid Ave. was a state road covered with planks from Perry (E. 22nd) St. to the city limits.

By 1870 most of the plank roads had disappeared because of exposure to the sun, rain, and snow. With the heavy loads and shod horses, the planks quickly crumbled, since they were not kept in repair. Many turnpike companies failed because of declining revenues on the routes or mismanagement. About 1872 the Linndale Plank Rd. Co. was established. It began at Pearl Rd. and Memphis Ave. in Cleveland, went west past W. 73rd St., and ended at W. 117th and West Blvd. near LINNDALE Village. In 1875 it merged to become the Cleveland, Linndale & Berea Plank Rd. Co. The route to Berea began at Puritas Corners along Rocky River Dr. south to Berea. A date for the end of operation for this road cannot be determined. In 1876 a third toll plank road along what is now Pearl Rd. was established by the Brighton & Parma Toll Rd. Co. Its route was 5 mi. long, beginning at what is now Pearl and State roads in Cleveland and ending at Pearl and York roads in PARMA HTS. It ceased operation in 1907, and was replaced by a brick road in 1908. In 1885 the State Rd. Plank Rd. Co. was established. It began at State Rd. and Brookpark Rd. in Cleveland and extended south about 5 mi. No date for cessation of operation can be determined. The Ohio Turnpike, which was begun in 1949, is the most recent toll road to have been built in Cuyahoga County.