Highway Grade Separation

At this southeast corner of his farm, Charlie Reed in 1923 built his first roadside business, a small gas station. Sometime in the late 1920s this original station was replaced by a larger station, which was moved to its present location in October, 1930. Concrete remnants outline the grease pit once used by the stations.

In 1938, the route of U.S. 65 was changed, now going south at this point across U.S. 30 rather than turning west. The Iowa Highway Commission had planned to build a grade separation and an elaborate interchange, probably of “cloverleaf” design, to control intersecting traffic on the two highways. Although this intersection plan was thwarted by Reed’s successful resistance to the condemnation and removal of his businesses, one of Iowa’s earliest highway grade separations was built. Because it took U.S. 65 below the elevation of U.S. 30 and Reed/Niland Corner, large signs placed on high poles were now needed to inform travelers on U.S. 65 of the businesses here. This neon sign, put up sometime in the 1950s, attracted travelers’ attention by rotating.