The Old Toll Gate
It's a familiar name to anyone in the area and we all still call it that, too, even though you won't pay
a toll these days to cross it. The Old Toll Gate was exactly that, a toll gate for a plank road that
went from Olean to Wellsville. The booth was next to the bridge that spanned the Oswayo Creek,
going south on Route 305 toward Eldred. The Old Toll Gate Restaurant and filling station was one
of the main landmarks here, owned by Rex Lawrence, at the junction of Rt 16 and 17. The bridge
was originally located behind this building, next to a smaller building and Red's and Trudy's
Hamburger Stand. Later, it was rebuilt in the present location (1963).
The Portville Historical and Preservation Society put together an interesting article about the Old
Toll Gate in our Homespun Collage of May 2006.
The original Toll Gate building has been thoughtfully restored by the present owners of Red's and
Trudy's, Fred and Mel Caya. The building now houses the bottle redemption center. If you have
not been to Red's lately, stop in and have a hamburger with the works. They are still delicious, just
like in the old days!
|The Portville Historical and Preservation Society
|17 Maple Avenue
Portville, NY 14770
Portville, New York
The above drawing was from an old advertising calendar for The Old Toll Gate. The bridge in the
postcard below was flanked by mammoth gates that helped control the raging waters of the Oswayo
Creek and the added affects of the nearby Allegheny River.