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August 19, 2019

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The Bluffton Story - part 9

Written by Bluffton 6th graders in 1953-54

By Nancy Baumgartner and Karen Anderson
The Western Ohio Interurban Line opened through Bluffton on January 10, 1906, when the first passenger car stopped and the president of the line, Mr. F. D. Carpenter gave a short talk.

This was a boon to transportation in Bluffton in the early part of the century as the roads were not good and almost all methods of transportation were too slow or inconvenient. The railroad and the horse and buggy were the best known methods of transportation at this time, although one of Bluffton's young daredevils made a flying trip to Lima in an auto in only 40 minutes.

The passenger cars on this line ran only one hour apart from morning until late at night.

There was a siding off main street where the cars could pull in to discharge and load passengers or freight. The siding was located where the Carma Theatre is now situated and the depot was in the room occupied by Risser's Sandwich Shop.

The line was in operation for twenty-six years, but with the improvement of roads and automobiles, it was forced out of business in 1932.

The tracks for the line still extend the length of Main Street just three inches below the black top and mute evidence of the once busy line may still be seen along the highway north or south of town, where some of the right of way still exists.

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