Marker 448: Janesville Plank Road

Photographed March 20, 2015
Erected 2000 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Greenfield, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
42° 57.064′ N, 88° 1.679′ W

The Janesville Plank Road was one of 16 privately-owned toll roads authorized by Wisconsin’s Territorial legislature in 1848. The road was specified to follow a 65 mile route from Milwaukee through East Troy to Janesville. Its roadbed was built on the 1838 Janesville Territorial Road, which followed an Indian Trail extending southwestward from rice marshes near river mouths in the Milwaukee area to Janesville.  
(Continued on other side)

(Continued from other side)
From 1849-1854 only a 24 mile section was completed starting near present day Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee and reaching Mukwonago. The road was built primarily of oak planks laid across oak logs. Toll booths placed every few miles collected fees. Rapid decay of waterlogged planks and short-lived commercial success due to the growth of competing railroads led to the demise of the plank road.
NOTE: This is a two-sided marker.

The marker is located on westbound West Forest Home Avenue / Wisconsin Highway 24, just west of its intersection with Milwaukee North / County Road N (to the north) and North Root River Parkway (to the south), Greenfield, Wisconsin 53228.

 Looking west at side two of the marker.

 Side one of the marker.

 Looking east, at side one of the marker.

First visit, January 16, 2013

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