In an email, he wrote, “The 1833 date on that boulder-plaque seems to actually refer to the first attempted “turnpiking” of “Elyria Road” in 1833.” He noted that “turnpiking” was not necessarily the same as planking, and that the construction may not have even started until the late 1830s. Most importantly, he revealed that his research showed that the actual planking didn’t occur until after 1848.
I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Derby on that, as I found a few vintage newspaper articles that support his theory.
One article ran in the Elyria Courier in March 1849, and mentioned the Lorain Plank Road Company and its stockholders (below). It gives the impression that the company was relatively new.
As far as Mr. Derby is concerned, the articles are proof enough that the 1833 tollgate date was incorrect, with the July 1850 story about the unhappy farmers being the strongest evidence. As he noted, "That ‘complaint' news item pretty much clinches it that there was no tollgate there prior to the installation of the planking about 1849.
"So even if there had been any success with any of the prior attempts at “turnpiking,” they never had a toll on that stretch until about 1849."Next: More plank busting