Evidence is scant but it appears that State trustees first permitted the private canal company to collect tolls from vessels transiting the inland waterway at various points in 1911. The method of collection was to stretch chains across sections as narrow as fifty feet. When the vessel paid the toll exacted, the toll keeper relaxed the chain to the bottom of the waterway, thus allowing the vessel to pass.
By 1920, as many as six chains were stretched across the waterway at six different points from Jacksonville to Hallandale. The number and location of the chains depended on the amount of tolls collected from each section. Oftentimes, the State trustees (the Cabinet) would move the toll chain from Dania (Beach) to Hallandale (Beach); at other times, the trustees would suspend collections entirely upon evidence that the tolls collected did not justify maintenance of the chain and the salary of the toll keeper.
As late as 1925, just before the collapse of the real estate market and the Hurricanes of 1926 and 1928, toll collections amounted to an astounding $50,000 in one year.