History, Road Trips

For sale: Michigan Road Toll House

Toll house

When railroads came to prominence in the mid 1800s, traffic dropped dramatically on roads like Indiana’s Michigan Road. What followed was an early example of privatization: many roads were sold to private companies to operate.

Toll house markerThe Michigan Road was one of them. Several companies bought pieces of it, made various improvements, and operated it as a toll road. One such company was the Augusta Gravel Road Company, which operated a segment of the road that passed through northwest Indianapolis. In 1866, they built this toll house (read more here.)

And it’s for sale. With two bedrooms and one bathroom, this 1,100-square-foot house comes with two lots totaling more than 10,000 square feet. It’s been a rental in recent years, and is in sad condition inside. See photos at the listing on Zillow, which also has better exterior photos than mine.

Toll house

Its price is so low that if I weren’t in the middle of paying huge college bills for my sons, I’d buy it. I don’t know exactly what I’d do with it, as it’s too small for my family, but I sure would hate for this house to fall into the hands of someone who can’t appreciate its place in history.


15 thoughts on “For sale: Michigan Road Toll House

  1. Jason Shafer says:

    If one can get past all the junk and debris, the bones of the house look good. It may not be a horrible price for what it is.


    • As an officer in the Historic Michigan Road Association, we hope that Indiana Landmarks buys it, stabilizes it, puts covenants on it, and then resells it. It needs that kind of protection! It is surrounded by two related large properties, the Light of the World Christian Church and the T. Garrott Benjamin Center, and I have a little worry that these entities would love to own this parcel and might not care about the house.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DougD says:

    Nice heritage house.

    Some days I just have to remind myself that real life is not like Pokemon. You can’t catch em all. This applies to houses, cars, motorcycles, guitars and apparently cameras too. :)


  3. Heide says:

    If you start a GoFundMe page to purchase this property, Jim, I will very gladly contribute to the cause! :-) I do hope whoever ends up buying it appreciates (and preserves) the structure’s history.


  4. Steve Miller says:

    60k might be a good price for the lots. The house — from what I saw today — may be close to a complete rebuild.

    Hope it can be saved.


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