News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 15, 2013

National Road interpretive panel to be dedicated Monday

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County’s first National Road interpretive panel will be dedicated Monday at a restored historic gasoline station cottage near Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Art Nehf Baseball Stadium.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Officials from Rose-Hulman and from the Indiana National Road Association (INRA) will participate, along with Terre Haute residents Bill and Trish Eccles, who were instrumental in the INRA’s creation and preservation of the gasoline station cottage.

INRA has installed 15 interpretive panels from Richmond to Terre Haute along U.S. 40, the designated Historic National Road, to inform tourists and residents about the history and significance of the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway. Each interpretative panel highlights a significant location along the road.

The cottage was built in 1931 as a Texaco gasoline station at 2900 Wabash Avenue, and served several other purposes from different locations along the highway during the next 50 years. In 1999, a collaborative effort among the Eccleses; the Indiana National Road Association, under the leadership of then-President Joy Sacopulos; Rose-Hulman, First Financial Bank (then-Terre Haute First); and Indiana Landmarks saved the building from destruction. It was moved to Rose-Hulman, where Bill Eccles served as professor of electrical and computer engineering until his recent retirement. The cottage’s exterior was restored to its original appearance as a 1931 filling station, and now serves as a concession stand and restroom facility for Rose-Hulman’s athletic fields.