Tales From The Tollgate House

Tollgate House at York Road (Olde York Road, today) and Pearl Road sometime in the late 19th century. Photo courtesy of the Parma Heights Historical Society.

The Tollgate House is a replica of the one operated by the Brooklyn & Parma Plank Toll Road Company from 1876 to 1907. It was originally located at the intersection of Olde York and Pearl Road. Horses, local farm wagons, and stagecoaches rode on the wooden planks to avoid the mud. The wooden planks that were secured to the ground along the route were replaced by brick pavers and the Tollgate was no longer necessary as the cost and maintenance went from private investors to local county government control. Several interurban electrical train routes were proposed along the Wooster Pike and Olde York Rd. starting in 1897 to 1915. None were ever built. The Tollgate House replica was built in 1980 with donated supplies and labor from the members of the Historical Society of Parma Heights. During the 2011 Centennial celebration held for the establishment of Parma Heights Village from the Parma Township in 1911, bricks were purchased by residents. Each brick had the purchaser’s name inscribed in it and placed in a walkway created leading to the wooden planks securely laid in front of the replica of the tollgate house in the Greenbrier Commons. The Parma Morning Kiwanis took care of the tollgate house between 2004 and 2009. The new Parma Heights Historical Society has been maintaining the tollgate house since 2013.

A 14-foot tall cement rural road street sign monument from Stumph and Huffman Rd at G. Huffman’s farm was relocated near wooden planks at the tollgate house replica June 28, 2013.  Our walking tour handout includes a local 2002 Cuyahoga County road map of existing county highway road numbers and a 1953 U.S.G.S. map. The rural county highway boundary marker O.M. 0695 is the last remaining original one in area whose use dates back to 1908 at local township boundary points and crossroads. The tall rural road obelisk marker was a horizontal control point on a 1953 U.S.G.S. map for elevation above sea level and accuracy for area land parcels surveyed. In the 1950s, a modern metal street sign was attached atop of marker erected 1939 at County Rds. No. 266 and 239. BM survey brass plate moved in 1964. Cuyahoga County widened Stumph Rd. from two lanes to four lanes in 1964 and rebuilt it during 2011-2012. The obelisk cement monument was a corner point of the legal political boundary for Parma, Parma Heights. When the cement monument was moved, the cement monument iron box that it sat in was broken. In 2013, another cement county road monument was rediscovered in North Royalton at Bennett and Edgerton. Photos of a cement monuments at Bennett Rd (1908) and State Rd (1968) seen in 1818-1968 Sesquicentennial North Royalton Booklet pages 14,48. Similar to 1939 Stumph Rd cement obelisk monument Another cement obelisk was found at (S.R. 252) Columbia and (C.R. 211) No Bottom Road in Olmsted Falls Twp.

Watch for more interesting historical stories of our area in the next issue. This year, the Tollgate House will be open to the public in the Greenbrier Commons in Parma Heights on July 4, 5, and 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Kenneth Lavelle

Paralegal. Local Historian. I promote pride of place with my walking tour and helping to erect Ohio Historical Markers.

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Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 11:22 AM, 07.01.2014