The Toll Gate War

Over at the Friends of Albany History, there's a good, short history of The Great Western Turnpike -- that is, Western Ave -- and the "Toll Gate War" by Al Quaglieri. A clip:

The city, meanwhile [in the late 1800s], had grown steadily westward. Former farmlands west of Manning Boulevard were subdivided into building plots; new side streets popped up. Among the first was Nineteenth Street, now Winthrop Avenue.
Despite being ungraded, sandy, and nearly impassable, Nineteenth Street had one popular attribute: it was just west of the Great Western Turnpike's Western Avenue tollgate. While farmers continued to pay tolls, casual travelers and pleasure seekers braved treacherous Nineteenth Street to circumvent the tollgate.
The Turnpike Company fought back in 1897 by piling a large barrier of lumber across Nineteenth Street at Western Avenue. This started a brief but nasty "Toll Gate War" with the City. Albany's Common Council ordered the company to remove the obstruction. They did, but replaced it with a new, annex tollgate. The City gave them 48 hours to remove it, which they did not, so the new gate was promptly destroyed by order of the Street Commissioner.

The story -- in not the road -- takes a few twists and turns from there.

See also: A gate to the past.

The rail line that's now the rail trail
In Other Interesting Histories of Local Transportation Routes™, check out Susan Leath's history of the rail line that's now the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. It started as a way to move coal, and then became commuter rail. The story includes an intentional train crash and a donnybrook.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of mural

Took a minute the other day to admire this little mural in the Williams Street alley just off Broadway in downtown Troy. It's just very... (more)

The interurbans

Check out this clickable map of the old "interurban" trolley lines that ran all over New York State back in the 1920s. Here in the... (more)

Dr. Dog at Upstate Concert Hall

Indie rock band Dr. Dog is set to play a show at Upstate Concert Hall February 13. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 19... (more)

Talking about artificial intelligence at the Rockefeller Institute next month / Automating Inequality with NYS Writers Institute this week

Artificial intelligence makes for good stories because killer robots and all that. But the reality of its promise -- and potential threat -- is probably... (more)

Solid Sound 2019 early-bird tickets

The Solid Sound festival will return to MASS MoCA June 28-30 in the summer of 2019. And early-bird tickets for the fest go on sale... (more)

Recent Comments

Giving out odd candy like Charleston Chews and Mallow Cups to confused trick or treaters and hoping that they try them and learn that they're awesome.

Drawing: Historic Haunted Pub Crawl of Downtown Albany

...has 43 comments, most recently from Shawna

The Albany Hardware & Iron Co.

...has 3 comments, most recently from Paulsome

Greenhouse, aquaponics, mircrolivestock, composting: here's a chance to check out the Radix Center in Albany

...has 1 comment, most recently from Barbara Nazarewicz

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 4 comments, most recently from King Lear

Where to buy Mexican-style chorizo?

...has 10 comments, most recently from Burnt My Fingers