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September 27, 2020

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Forgotten Bluffton: Why is there a railroad depot on North Main Street?

It served passengers and freight on the now-abandoned Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad

Why is there a railroad depot on North Main Street, but no railroad tracks?

The answer is because the depot, now  home of Board and Brush, was originally constructed as a freight and passenger depot for a now-abandoned railroad.

Organized in 1881, it arrived in Bluffton as the Cleveland, Delphos and St. Louis Railroad. Then, in 1884 it became the Pittsburgh, Akron and Western Railroad. Due to more railroad mergers, in 1895, it became the Northern Ohio Railway. Later the Northern Ohio became the Akron, Canton and Youngstown Railroad, or the AC&Y.

The railroad covered 171 miles east and west, connecting at 21 different junctions with nine different north-south railroads.

The line offered passenger service, stopping at the Bluffton depot, until 1951. 

The railroad was part of the Norfolk and Western system when it was abandoned through Bluffton in December 1982.

The abandoned stretch extended from its western terminal point in Delphos through Rimer, Vaughnsville, Pandora, Columbus Grove, Bluffton, Jenera and Arlington, to an eastern point in Wyandot County near Carey. Prior to that 52-mile abandonment, the railroad extended to Mogadore in eastern Ohio.

Now it is part of forgotten Bluffton.