The pre-revolutionary “Albany Road” ran from the ferry in Bath-on-the-Hudson all the way to Deerfield, Massachusetts. The old route is mapped in detail in the publication Thro’ a Country Not Well Settled: The Albany Road of 1752-1773 (Rensselaer Land Trust). You can read it at the East Greenbush Library.
The roadway’s importance as a commercial and stage coach route grew, and in 1799, the “Eastern Turnpike Road” was incorporated to maintain the road. (Toll roads were considered a fairer means of financing road maintenance than taxes or landowner labor.) The road was to be constructed:
…at least four rods wide, twenty four feet of which shall be bedded with wood, stone, gravel, or any other hard substance compacted together, a sufficient depth to secure a solid foundation to the same, and the said road shall be faced with gravel or other hard substance in such manner as to secure as near as the materials will admit an even surface rising towards the middle by a gradual arch…The toll for a horse and rider was 5 cents, and a four-wheel carriage with two horses paid 12 ½ cents (3 cents for every additional horse). Travelers in 1825 could leave Bath-on-the-Hudson to start a 35 hour stagecoach journey to Boston along the Eastern Turnpike, at a cost of $8.75 by “Mail Line” (close to $200 today). The 1841 map below shows the general route (click to zoom in).From An ACT to establish a Turnpike Corporation... for improving the Road from the Village of Bath to the Massachusetts Line ... Passed 1st April 1799, Laws of the State of New York, 22nd Session (This act also incorporates the Rensselaer and Columbia Turnpike.)
Next: Famous names amongst the Directors of the Eastern Turnpike Road
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