The New York State Thruway toll increase took effect on January 1st, 2024. It has always cost something to use some roads in New York State. Check out the cost of using the Albany-Bethlehem Turnpike in the 1800s and what you were allowed to bring along.

Canva Google Maps
Canva Google Maps
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The Albany Institute of Art & History posted a very interesting sign they had in its archives. The sign is from 1804 and lists the rates of using the Albany & Bethlehem Turnpike based on the type of vehicle and how much livestock is being transported. They even listed winter rates when people would be riding in a "one-horse open sleigh". So around Christmas time, it would cost you 4 cents!

Albany & Bethlehem Turnpike Road Rates of Toll Unidentified Maker Paint and Wood c.1840 AIHA, U1972.16.1
Albany & Bethlehem Turnpike Road Rates of Toll
Unidentified Maker
Paint and Wood
c.1840
AIHA, U1972.16.1
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As you can see, the rates were based on how many animals you had and the type of wagon or "sleigh" you were using. Even though the prices seem very inexpensive, something tells me that even back then they were most likely complaining about the high prices to use the roadway.

Photo Credit:Richard Palmer-https://stagecoachdays.blogspot.com/
Photo Credit: Richard Palmer-https://stagecoachdays.blogspot.com/
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The Albany & Bethlehem Turnpike road was five miles long and ran south from the Albany city line on the road that is now known as South Pearl Street.

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Gallery Credit: Brian Cody TSM Albany

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