Former Auer’s gas station in Syracuse

I’m old enough to remember when you pulled into a gas station, someone came out and pumped your gas and cleaned your windshield. With a few exceptions scattered around, those days are long gone. Shown in the photo is the former Auer’s Auto Supply building in Syracuse, Kosciusko County. It is on Main Street in the downtown area. Originally it was known as Auer’s Friendly Service, an apt name for the business. John Auer purchased the station a few years after World War II with his son, Nelson. John had worked at the station before he and his son bought it. What started as pumping gas and changing tires evolved into a full line of auto parts by the late 1950s or early 1960s and that is when the name of the station was changed. Auer’s had a very well known wrecker service and often responded to wrecks, for one example, on nearby U.S. Highway 6. The business was a community hub, too, or a gathering place. The building still stands and is used now for a business. But it still has the look of an older gas station. The Auers sold the station in the 1970s and it has changed ownership a few times since then.


Former gas station in Syracuse.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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2 Responses to Former Auer’s gas station in Syracuse

  1. Kelsie Friesen Miller says:

    Tim, I stumbled across your blog in searching for some information on the history on Petit Park in Ligonier and had a couple questions/comments:

    1) I was wondering if you know what buildings/industries/businesses were located on the property that is now Petit Park and the years they were there?

    2) You may be interested in the work my husband is doing with his 4th graders at Bethany Christian. A native Nebraskan, he knew nothing of Indiana history (which is required to be taught in 4th grade) and in the past 4.5 years has come to be very passionate about Indiana history, especially the Potowatamie Trail of Death in conjunction with AMBS and the Rochester historical society. This year he has begun focusing more on Goshen and Elkhart County, especially Waterford Mills area.

    3) He also has his students do an Indiana research project every year and you could be a great resource for the kids. He is especially fascinated by one students’ research this year on the island in the Goshen Dam Pond which is privately owned but used to contain a roller rink, baseball diamond, beach, etc., as well as a ferry from the mainland to the island.

    • historynut11 says:

      Kelsie, thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog. I don’t know what was located in that park in Ligonier, but I can try to find out. I haven’t done much in that area with my blog so far. Also, I would be happy to help however I can with those research projects. If you want to put your husband in touch with me, my e-mail address is I’m an amateur historian, but I’ve been doing this for a while now and have learned quite a bit about local history. Through the years I’ve learned how, sometimes the hard way, to research history more.

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