In the early days of motoring, two major automobile trails, the Lincoln Highway and the Jefferson Highway (later, U.S. 30 and U.S. 65), crossed at this site, which also happened to be the southeast corner of a farm owned by Colo resident Charlie Reed. Spotting a business opportunity, Reed began to sell gasoline to motorists in 1923 and soon added food and lodging to his roadside services, creating a “one-stop” haven for travelers.
Reed was assisted in running his blossoming businesses by a nephew, M. Reed Niland, and the latter’s wife, Florence. In the mid-1930s they were succeeded by another nephew, Clare Niland, and his wife Margaret, who were joined by their son John in 1956. After Clare died in 1978, John managed these businesses, at first with his mother and later with his wife Joan, until all operations ended with the closing of the motel in 1995.
Because three generations of the two related Colo families served auto travelers at this place for more than seventy years, it came to be known unofficially as Reed/Niland Corner, or simply Niland’s Corner. The gas station, cafe, and motel have been restored to their appearance at mid-twentieth century, when business was brisk and travelers from the four points of the compass stopped here.