Valley Coin Club submitted the following news release to Coin World:
The Delaware County Coin Club's annual wooden 2-cent piece for 2015
commemorates one of America's early turnpikes.
Colonial roads often started as narrow ways for pack horses, later
accommodating carriages and then stage coach lines. Following the War
for Independence, the states could not afford much-needed road
improvements, so they started chartering private turnpike companies.
The first such charter was granted in 1792 for the Philadelphia and
Lancaster Turnpike Road Company, which maintained a 65-mile
stone-surfaced road passing partly through Delaware County, and which
collected tolls until about 1917.
Its investors' success prompted many more, including the
Philadelphia, Brandywine and New London Turnpike Company (today's
Baltimore Pike, or U.S. Route 1) and over 400 others in Pennsylvania alone.
A Philadelphia-to-Baltimore roadway had originally been laid out in
1715, but an improved turnpike to Baltimore was chartered through
Pennsylvania (1809) and Delaware (1813), passing near the Brandywine
Battlefield and on through Chadd's Ford. Its early records are
incomplete, but the nearby Chester Pike had a small toll bridge
charging from 2 cents for a man and horse, to 6 cents for a two-horse
sleigh, 12 cents for a four-horse wagon, and 25 cents for a coach or
Chester Pike was a wooden plank road with six known toll booths, one
of which is represented on the wooden commemorative for Baltimore
Pike; images from the Baltimore Pike are not available.
To order this wood, send 50 cents, plus self-addressed envelope with
70 cents postage to Wooden Two Cents, Delaware County Coin Club, P.O.
Box 5252, Springfield, PA 19064.