Historical Markers
Searight's Tollhouse Historical Marker
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Searight's Tollhouse

Laurel Highlands/Southern Alleghenies


Marker Location:
At site on US 40, 5 miles NW of Uniontown

Dedication Date:
January 1, 1966

Behind the Marker

William Searight loomed large in Fayette County during the first half of the nineteenth century. One of the wealthiest men in the region, Searight used his political connections to land the position of Commissioner of the Cumberland Road marker(National Road) for the state of Pennsylvania in 1842.
A brick building with a picket fence and several people standing in front. Inset is a head and shoulders etching of William Searight.
William Searight (inset) and his National Road tollhouse, Fayette County, PA,...

As commissioner, Searight was responsible for all operations, from lower level job or patronage appointments to overseeing toll collection along the roadway. This position helped increase Searight's power within the southwestern portion of the state, and also rewarded him financially. He was paid $730 a year for carrying out his duties, a significant wage for the era. In addition to his position as commissioner, Searight also operated a popular tavern along the National Road.

Searight continued to serve as Pennsylvania Commissioner of the Cumberland Road until April 1845 when a federally directed reorganization of the management structure eliminated his position. Three years later he was named a road commissioner again, but only to oversee operations within Fayette County.

Searight's Tollhouse, constructed when the Commonwealth took control of the road in 1835, stood on the highway itself with a long, hinged gate to block all traffic until the appropriate fares had been paid. It joined other tollgates in Pennsylvania located near Petersburg, Mt. Washington, Beallsville, Washington, and West Alexander. The money that was collected from travelers helped maintain the road and pay salaries of people employed to perform the labor. One of two remaining National Road tollhouses and a National Historic Landmark, it is operated as a historic site by the Uniontown Historical Society.
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