TERRE HAUTE —
“The River, The Road, and The Rails — the History of Transportation in Vigo County” is the title of the first exhibit of 2013 at the Vigo County Historical Museum. Using artifacts, maps, models, photographs, and articles from publications, the display tells the story of Terre Haute’s rich heritage as the transportation hub of the Midwest. Centering the exhibit room is a widescreen TV on which images of Vigo County’s various modes of transportation are shown.
The display begins with the Wabash River, once full of activity when boats brought passengers and freight along its waterways and pleasure craft provided entertainment. It progresses with information about the roads, focusing on the National Road which passed through Terre Haute, meeting U.S. 41 and contributed to the name Crossroads of America.
The coming of the interurban allowed more people to travel to and from Vigo County. The railroads and Chauncey Rose play an important part in the museum’s exhibit. Recognizing the importance of rail transportation, Rose, one of Terre Haute’s great philanthropists, became a well-known figure in the development of the railroad system through the city and to points afar. Because of its central location, large trucking companies, such as Consolidated Freight and Eastern Express, made Terre Haute their headquarters. All of these topics are covered in the display.
The Vigo County Historical Museum is at Sixth and Washington streets. Museum hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.