Terre Haute Postcards - Union Station Depot (4)

Terre Haute Postcards - Union Station Depot (4)

More postcards from my collection...

USO Lounges, Pennsylvania Railroad Stations

USO Lounges, Pennsylvania Railroad Stations

This postcard, stamped in St. Louis on April 1st, 1945, has the printed text...

To make servicemen comfortable while on the move,
attractive Lounges and Special Facilities are maintained
in Stations in a number of cities served by the Pennsylvania
Railroad. They are operated and staffed by the USO, the
Travelers' Aid, and local patriotic organizations, including
the Women's Aid of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

USO Lounge, Union Station, Terre Haute

USO Lounge, Union Station, Terre Haute

Interestingly this card is post-stamped but not stamped. It has the hand-written word "FREE" where the stamp should be. As the card was sent from St. Louis and there is an "X" by the St. Louis image on the front of the card I would think the sender got the card from there.

In 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked that the YMCA, YWCA, National Catholic Community Service, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the Traveler?s Aid Association and the Salvation Army that they find some way to meet on-leave recreation needs for the members of the Armed Forces. The spiritual, religious, educational and welfare needs of men and women in the Armed Forces were to be met and so the USO was formed from members of these organizations to meet this demand.

The USO, was incorporated in February 4, 1941, and one place they set up recreation and food facilities was in the railroad stations of larger towns. The first one was opened at Cleveland, Ohio, on February 4, 1941. For more information on the USO canteens see the Identified WW II USO Canteens page and Wikipedia. The USO also has its own website.

Union Station was designed by Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford for the Terre Haute & Indianapolis Railroad's Vandalia railroad in Romanesque style. This red stone and brick, three-storey building with a 200-foot tower, was opened on August 15th 1893. The tower once caused Will Rogers to say "Terre Haute has the only railway station in the world with a silo in one corner of it." Situated on North Nine Street between Sycamore and Spruce Streets it was demolished in 1960 and the site is now occupied by the Recreation East complex on the Indiana State University campus.

For a short history of the railroads in Terre Haute see Mike McCormick's article, "Terre Haute Known as Railroad Hub" in the Tribune Star.

This page created 29th November 2009, last modified 29th November 2009