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Searight's Tollhouse Museum

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1835, Captain Richard Delafield. U.S. 40, 5 miles west of Uniontown

The former Searight's tollhouse is a small, red brick octagonal building with a one-story rectangular wing on the south elevation. Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was one of six tollhouses located every fifteen miles along the National Road between Pennsylvania's southern and western borders and was in use until 1905. Only two tollhouses remain; this one and another in Somerset County ( SO15). Searight's, now a museum, was restored in 1966 under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tollhouse was designed by Captain Richard Delafield, assistant engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers. He used noted British engineer and architect Thomas Telford's design for the tollhouses along the Holyhead Road (1819–1826) through Shropshire, England, later illustrated in Atlas of the Life of Thomas Telford (1838). This tollhouse has a two-story octagonal bay, which offers several angles for viewing the road. The neoclassical architectural details paid homage to the ancient ideals of government and democracy. By making the tollhouses large enough to live in, the corps' engineers hoped to attract responsible family men to run them. The buildings were auctioned for private ownership in 1877.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Lu Donnelly et al.
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Citation

Lu Donnelly et al., "Searight's Tollhouse Museum", [Uniontown, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-01-FA8.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 241-242.

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