Category Archives: LaVale

Mile 7 – LaVale Toll Gate House, LaVale, Md.

The LaVale Toll Gate House, LaVale, Md.

On the western edge of LaVale sits one of three remaining toll gate houses on the National Road. Built in the 1830s, the LaVale Toll Gate House  served as the first toll for travelers heading west toward Pennsylvania. Tolls varied based on the  mode of transportation as well as the number of animals being transported along the road. A recreated list of tolls is found on the side of the building.

Today, the toll gate house is government-owned and has been kept up and repainted through the years. A small park with picnic tables is ajecent to the building, and the interior is a small museum that has been open to the public in the past (I remember touring the building when I was growing up).

The D.A.R. marker beside the toll gate house.

The most recent records list the Toll Gate House as being open from Mid-May to October, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, the above information from Fodors and Weekend Adventures Magazine is several years old, and the phone number has been disconnected.

I called the Allegany County Visitor’s Bureau, but the ACVB wasn’t sure who was in charge of managing the Toll Gate House. The ACVB’s online record for the site is here. Considering that it’s easy to tell that the site is still well-maintained from just a outside walk-around, I would think someone has to know when the Toll Gate House is open.

Regardless of inside access, there are a few historic markers and informational signs at the park, and it is free and open to the public to walk around and use the picnic facilities (visit this website to see each marker in detail). I’ll keep working on figuring out who is operating the building, and I’ll update this post once I get a concrete answer.

The LaVale Toll Gate House is located at 14302 National Highway in LaVale, next to a tire shop and across from the LaVale Plaza.

The building sits right up against modern ALT-U.S.-40, where is has stood for over 175 years.

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Mile 6 – D’Atri Restaurant, LaVale, Md.

D'Atri Restaurant, LaVale, Md.

D’Atri Restaurant in LaVale, Md. has been a locally-renowned eatery for years. In the 1970s, Robert D’Atri opened a small takeout/delivery operation on Columbia Street in Cumberland, and about a decade ago, the family opened a larger restaurant on National Highway (ALT-U.S.-40 in LaVale). The restaurant is immensely popular in the Cumberland/LaVale area, notably for both its pasta and subs. Both restaurants have continued to operate within the family, and in the past year or so, the family opened Patrick’s Pub in South Cumberland, further expanding their culinary influence in the area.

Like I said, D’Atri, (or D’Atri’s, locally) is known for its pasta and subs. On my most recent visit to the LaVale location, I ordered a “small” steak sub. Small – by D’Atri standards – is seven inches, and each bite is worth the price ($6-$7). Each sub with lettuce features D’Atri’s signature seasoned lettuce, which gives the sandwich an more Italian-like flavor.

A steak and cheese sub at D'Atri's in LaVale, Md.

Portions at D’Atri’s are generous, to say the least, especially when it comes to subs and pasta. The atmosphere is not unlike other smaller, locally-owned restaurants around the country, and for locals, D’Atri’s is an establishment which comes with a high probability of running into someone you know.

D’Atri’s is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Takeout is also available by calling 301-729-2774. The restaurant is located at 1118 National Highway in LaVale, near the intersection with Campground Road (which is the general division line between the residential and commercial halves of LaVale.

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