This old plank road was called the Port Kent and Hopkinton Turnpike. It extended up the Ausable Valley to Ausable Forks, thence to Hopkinton by the way of Black Brook and Bloomingdale, in all about 100 miles. This old plank road, or turnpike as they called it, was one of the most important roads through this part of the country and traveled entirely through the Adirondack mountain range.
Old residents used to tell of the travel on this road, they said that it was not unusual to see a string of teams nearly a mile long taking their produce to and from the markets along the river and shipping at the Lake ports. This plank road was made of planks about eight feet long and three inches thick. The land on each side of this old turnpike was taxed on each side for a width of three miles. There were tollgates at intervals along this road, and I presume that the income from those sources was quite large. After the railroad was built to the point of rocks [Point au Roche], the Rogers Co. and the Peru Steel Iron Co. made that their shipping point and the plank road from Clintonville to Keeseville was abandoned.
A person riding along our fine highways now in their expensive automobiles cannot have any idea of the business activities that were so extensive along the valley years ago, or of the benefit to the teaming operations, that the old plank road was to the early settlers and the early business activities. When my mother's father settled on the farm two miles this side of Ausable Forks, there was no highway along the river between Ausable Forks and Clintonville, the road at that time went over the plains and for years while the tollgates between Ausable Forks and Clintonville were kept open people traveled the road over the plains to avoid paying the toll.