Alonzo Proctor Tollhouse (1851) SR
Alonzo and Hannah Proctor, circa 1880. Photo Credit: Samuel W. Durant, History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan, p. 288; image online at MIGenWeb.
Alonzo Proctor settled in the area in 1847, purchasing 120 acres on the west side of Park Lake Road. The “Grand River Road” cut across the southwest corner of his land; in 1851 the Lansing–Howell Plank Road turned it into a toll road, and Proctor was commissioned to operate one of its seven tollgates. Tollhouse № 2 stood opposite the Proctor farm on the south side of the plank road, approximately at the southeast corner of Grand River and Dawn Avenues (near the venerable Paul Revere’s Tavern).[Beers, p. 51. Towar, p. 25]
In 1907 the tollhouse was moved from its original location to 564 N. Hagadorn Road (on the east side of the street between Snyder and Melrose), where it was used as a residence for decades.
Tollhouse at its location on Hagadorn Road, around the time of its listing on the State Register in 1973. Photo Credit: Friends of Historic Meridian. Reprinted in Miller, p. 12.
As the sole remaining plank road tollhouse in Michigan, the building was listed on the State Register of Historic Places on March 14, 1973, and moved soon afterward to the Meridian Historical Village in Central Park, Okemos. It has been restored to its original appearance and placed in an interpretive setting complete with a gate and a placard of toll rates. The Proctor family gravesite stands in Riverside Cemetery, less than half a mile east of the original tollhouse site, with a commanding view of Grand River Avenue and the old plank road.
Alonzo Proctor Tollhouse, December 2004. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.