Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Battle of Franklin, Eastern Flank / Lewisburg Pike Toll House

Marker ID:  
Location: 1368 Eastern Flank Cir, Franklin, TN
County: Williamson
Coordinates: N 35° 54.519    W 086° 51.453
  35.90865    -86.85755
Waymark: None


Battle of Franklin, Eastern Flank
Lewisburg Pike Toll House

Road construction boomed in Tennessee during the mid-1800s, and the Nashville area was the state’s primary highway hub. Private companies built most of the roads, and they placed tollhouses along the routes to collect fees to cover costs and create profits. Before the Civil War, such houses and their lowered gates were common. One such tollhouse stood directly to your right along the Lewisburg Turnpike.

These structures usually had permanent residents, employees of the managing companies who collected specific fees for each person, draft animal, and wagon that passed through during daylight hours. The turnpikes themselves were usually ten to twelve feet (three meters) wide, with ditches along the sides for drainage, and surfaces of gravel or tightly-packed small stones that created what were called macadamized roads.

The turnpikes kept state taxes low, but they often frustrated farmers and merchants trekking to markets. On the eighteen-mile trek from Franklin to Nashville, travelers had to stop and pay four times.

The Civil War severely damaged many of these highways, including the Lewisburg Pike. Heavy military traffic eroded the surfaces, consumed supplies for repairs, and made toll-collecting nearly impossible. Repairs were further complicated by widespread loss of draft animals during the war, a shortage that lasted for decades afterward.

By the end of the century, public funding gradually replaced private construction, and Tennessee’s last tollhouses were closed in 1930.

Erected Tennessee Civil War Trails.

[This marker may also be found on HMDB.org]