Toll House Inn

Coordinates: 42°04′15″N 70°56′54″W / 42.0709°N 70.94825°W / 42.0709; -70.94825
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Toll House Inn
The restored sign of the Toll House Inn, with a commemorative plaque underneath
General information
Address362 Bedford Street
Town or cityWhitman, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°04′15″N 70°56′54″W / 42.0709°N 70.94825°W / 42.0709; -70.94825
Demolished1984; 39 years ago (1984)
OwnerRuth Graves Wakefield

The Toll House Inn was an inn located in Whitman, Massachusetts, established in 1930 by Kenneth and Ruth Graves Wakefield. The Toll House chocolate chip cookies are named after the inn.[1]


Contrary to its name and the sign, which still stands despite the building having burned down in 1984, the site was never a toll house, and it was built in 1817, not 1709. The use of "toll house" and "1709" was a marketing strategy.[2]

Ruth Wakefield cooked all the food served and soon gained local fame for her desserts. According to early accounts, Wakefield created the first chocolate chip cookie using a bar of semi-sweet chocolate made by Nestlé while adapting her butter drop dough cookie recipe.[3][4][5][6] In 1938, Wakefield and her assistant, Sue Brides, used chocolate after wanting to "do something a little more interesting with" their already popular butterscotch nut cookie.[7]

The new dessert soon became very popular. Wakefield contacted Nestlé and they struck a deal: the company would print her recipe on the cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars, and she would get a lifetime supply of chocolate. Nestlé began marketing chocolate chips to be used especially for cookies.[citation needed] Wakefield wrote a cookbook, Toll House Tried and True Recipes, that went through 39 printings.[6]

Wakefield died in 1977, and the Toll House Inn burned down from a fire that started in the kitchen on New Year's Eve 1984.[8] The inn was not rebuilt. The site, at 362 Bedford Street, is marked with a historical marker and mounted restored sign.[9] Although there are many manufacturers of chocolate chips today, Nestlé still publishes Wakefield's recipe on the back of each package of Toll House Morsels.[10]


  1. ^ Toll The Original Chocolate Chip Cookie by Aimee Tucker on New England Today Food, March 26, 2020
  2. ^ "Classic cookie creators". South Shore Living. SS living. Nov 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05..
  3. ^ "Toll House Cookie History – Invention of Toll House Cookies". Idea finder. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  4. ^ "The Nestlé Toll House Story". Very Best Baking. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  5. ^ "Ruth Wakefield: Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor". Women Inventors. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  6. ^ a b "Inventor of the Week Archive: Chocolate Chip Cookie". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2003-04-03. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  7. ^ "Baker's daughter reveals 'real recipe' for Toll House chocolate chip cookies". WCVB5. June 21, 2017. Retrieved 2021-09-30.
  8. ^ Stack, James (January 6, 1985). "A landmark burns". The Boston Globe..
  9. ^ Fontes, Kristina. "A Taste of Old Colony History: Bake historical recipes with Old Colony History Museum". Taunton Daily Gazette. Retrieved 2023-10-18.
  10. ^ "Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies - Recipe File". Cooking For Engineersaccess-date=2018-05-26.