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Historical Bluffton

Geiger cousins in 1900; Geiger summer house

If your last name is Geiger or if you are related to the Geiger's chances are pretty good that you have an ancestor is this group of youngesters.

On the back of the photo is the message: Geier counsins. Taken about 1900 near Pandora, Ohio, Gegier homestead.

The next photo shows the Geigher family summer house. There's a bell on the roof!

Bluffton's contribution to the Edsel V-8

Did you know that engines for Edels were built in Lima?

Dennis Morrison shared with the Icon this photo of his father, Jack, who Dennis says was either the first or second person hired at the Lima Engine Plant when it opened.

He later became a maintenance foreman and retired from Lima after 30 years of service.

This photo shows Dennis’ father hot testing the 410 Edsel engines. The engines were V-8s. This photo was taken in December 1957.

Dennis also worked at the plant for 40 years, upon graduation from BHS in 1965 until 2006.


Alpha Gamma has a night out on the town

At one time, Bluffton had several women's "clubs." One was Alpha Gamma. Here's a photo from a Lima News clipping showing members of the club while attending a dram at Amil Tellers Theater, Lima.

We aren't aware of the year this photo was taken but, based upon the women in the photo, it was prior to 1963.

Names of the women (by their husband's names) are in the clipping. Jayne McGarrity provided the Icon with this clipping.


Augsburger Taxidermy parade float - 1986

Here are two photos of the Augsburger's Taxidermy float in a July 1986 Bluffton parade. The occasion was Bluffton's 125th anniversary celebration. That's Marvin Augsburger driving the tractor and his daughters in native American dress. Dick Boehr took these photos.

Remembrer this 1986 Bluffton summer parade?

It was a hot July afternoon in 1986. Bluffton celebrated its 125th anniversary with many events including a large parade.

Who are those shirtless guys sawing logs?

It's the float representing Steiner Sales and Service. Dick Boehr took this photo.

Bluffton's queens of 1986

The year was 1986. Our community celebrated its 125th year as "Bluffton." There were lots of celebration events. One was a parade.

Here's a photo of what we believe is a queen candidate float. We think we see several familiar faces among the candidates and the young children in the front.

We encourage Icon viewers to help ID these girls.

Does this help -  this photo is 31 years old. That means the queen candidates are approaching 50. The young girls are in their mid-30s.

Can you hear it breathe?

This was Bluffton prior to mid-1956. Paul Diller took this photo of Nickel Plate Road Berkshire Lima-building steam locomotive 718.


Paul photographed this fast-moving freight as it crossed the railroad bridge at Marsh Run north of Bluffton. The smoke stack in the background is the Woodcock power plant - bellowing more black smoke that the loco.

The freight passed Bluffton northbound toward Findlay and eventually ended in Bellevue.

Ebenezer Mennonite Church in 1883

Here is the Ebenezer Mennonite Church in rural Bluffton. This photo is believed to be taken in 1883 following an addition that was made to the building. The original church building was constructed in 1869.

When this photo was taken there were only two Mennonite churches in the Bluffton-Pandora Swiss Settlement. The other was St. John Mennonite, four miles to the north.

By 1890 there were between 800 and 950 Swiss Mennonites living here. At that time the congregation worshiped together on alternative Sundays at St. John and then at Ebenezer.

A busy day at the Bluffton swimming pool

If the cold temperatures have you down, this photo may warm you up. It's the Bluffton Community Swimming Pool, which is no longer in existence.

The pool was on the east side of the Buckeye. It is included a bath house, baby pool, larger pool going to 5 or 6 feet, and the Buckeye quarry for persons who could pass a swim test. The Buckeye had three diving boards.

1986 legion honor guard

Here's a very interesting photograph from the 1986 Bluffton 125th anniversary parade.

It's the Bluffton American Legion Post 382 honor guard. This is one of Bluffton's oldest continually operating units going back to the end of World War I.

We see Don Martz (far right) making certain the lines are straight. There's Jean Mueller, Bill Mericle, Gene Mericle and Robert Stratton. Icon views, please help with more IDs.

Dick Boehr took this photo.