About the
Friends of East Gate


The East Gate Toll House is an architecturally and historically significant building and one of the last remaining toll gate houses in New York State. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located in Hillsdale on Route 23, which was the old Columbia Turnpike, chartered in 1799. 

The Friends of East Gate was formed in 2016 to raise money to stabilize, preserve and restore the historic East Gate Toll House. We are local residents, civic leaders and historic preservationists working towards a common goal: developing the building as an historic center and exhibit space, one that tells the story of how toll roads in general, and the Columbia Turnpike in particular, played a role in building a vital and robust early American economy. 

We must raise funds through grants and private donations, as no tax funding is available. The first phase of work, purchasing the building and making it safe, is complete. 

The next phase will be to:

  • Move the toll house back from the road onto a new foundation, and reconstruct the toll gate; and

  • Restore the interior and exterior of the building.

We know that history is a catalyst for economic growth. People are drawn to communities that have preserved a strong sense of historical identity and character. Cultural heritage is a demonstrated economic asset and an essential component of any vibrant local economy, providing an infrastructure that attracts talent and enhances business development. 

Your donations can help us achieve the dream of restoring East Gate into something self-sustaining and productive for the education and enjoyment of local residents, visitors and the public at large. 






All Photos Courtesy of B. Docktor


The Friends of East Gate

Board of Directors

James Wagman, President
Jamie Johnson, Treasurer
Chris Atkins
Timi Bates
Kathy Bluestone
Steve Bluestone
Lauren Letellier
Laurie Winfrey



Peter Cipkowski, Hillsdale Town Supervisor
Fran Eberhart
Deborah Gordon, Phoenix Project of Eastern New York
Darin Johnson, Sturbridge Village
Lex Lalli, Historic Hillsdale
Edgar Masters, Copake Falls
Alan Neumann, Historic Hudson