Searights Tollhouse recieved its name from its location near the village of Searights, named for its most prominent citizen, William Searight. Searight owned a prosperous tavern on the National Road, the ruins of which may still be seen today. He had been a contractor for the road, and was later appointed commissioner of the Pennsylvania section, but he seems to have had no connection with the tollhouse itself.
The years immediately following the construction of the Tollhouses saw a never ending stream of traffic, both east and west. Wagoners, drovers, stage drivers, and mail expresses left their colorful imprints on the road’s history. With the coming of the railroads to Western Pennsylvania in the 1850’s, traffic over the road declined, and after the Civil War it was used chiefly for local trips. Tolls were collected until 1905. The advent of the automobile in the early twentieth century rescued the road from disrepair, and by the 1920’s the National Road was reincarnated as U.S. 40.
The Searights Tollhouse is one of two remaining of the original six commissioned Tollhouses in Pennsylvania.