The Tollgate House
The use of wooden plank roads was introduced by the State Legislature in 1848 to reduce the amount of time it took to travel to the City of Detroit from the new State Capitol in Lansing.
The Lansing Central Plank Road Company was owned by Lansing merchants Jim Turner, Charles Seymour and Hiram Smith. They had the charter from the State to plank the route from north Lansing to Howell, where it connected with the road from Detroit.
There were seven gates along the Lansing to Howell Road, each operated by a representative of the Lansing Central Plank Road Company. Houses accompanied the gates to serve as a gathering place for visitors, a place to drop off the local mail, and, of course, as the headquarters for the local operator of the tollgate.
The Number 2 tollgate on the Lansing to Howell Plank Road was located on the south side of the current Grand River Avenue at Park Lake Road. The building was operated by the Proctor family and moved to the Historical Village in 1974. Although at one time there were many gates and houses, this modest building is the only tollgate house that remains in Michigan today! Please visit us to see this unique treasure!