The Old Plank Road and Toll Gates (Contributed by Peter Hawker, B.D.H.S. Staff) We were going through Hunter's History of Simcoe County' the other day in class and came across the following: "August 1850, the Simcoe County Council passed a by-law authorizing the making of a road, the West Gwillimbury Turnpike Trust Road, and this was the be planked from Holland Landing to Bradford and thence to Bond Head. Three commissioners were appointed and debentures were to be raised to a value of ¬£4,000 ($12,000) to plank or otherwise improve it. "About 1840 the Canadian Government would assist with funds for the planking roads. (Upper Canada Govt.) "The commissioners entered into contact for the planking. Tenders were submitted at an average of ¬£49s. ($17.80) per 1,000 ft. for 3 inch planking. The road was finished - Bond Head to Holland Landing - at a cost of ¬£4,782 2s. 10d. ($19,128.57). Two toll gates were set up, one south of the river, Raper's gate, and one at Middleton, William Collins the keeper. There was a scheme to plank from Bradford to Barrie, but it never materialized because of the railway. "The plank road was a paying concern. The Treasurer reported in 1855, for 1854 revenue, that it had far exceeded the wildest hopes. In 1855, the toll gates were moved nearer to Bradford, the Middleton gate being relocated at the bend of the road leading to Bradford Station. "However, the financial position soon went from black to red. In October 1857, the road need repairs to the extent of ¬£132 1s. ($528.20). In January 1858, commissioners were appointed to look into the state of the road. On balance, in 1857, the County Treasurer had had to pay out ¬£250 ($1,000) for repairs and ¬£34 ($136) in compensation to persons who had sustained damage by the road. (In Just 1858, a by-law was passed that repealed the by-law authorizing the planking of the road. The County Surveyor was authorized to remove such of the planking as he deemed necessary and to dispose of it, and have the holes levelled. "Such was the end, after seven years of the plank road!