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Emily Stratton

December 16, 2017

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Historical Bluffton

Have you shopped at Amstutz and Bixel Co. lately?

Is this Bluffton? Yes. It's one of the earliest Main Street photos - possibily as early as 1880.

It's Main Street looking north from the location of today's Chase. The west side of Main includes, from left to right:

First block

• A sign reading "Cash your hides"
• Beer Saloon
• Amstutz and Bixel Co.
• Russell Hotel

Second block
• 101 N. Main Street

That's a real steam locomotive on Main Street

You could easily say that you've seen everything, after viewing a steam locomotive on Main Street Bluffton.

This photo is part of "The Bluffton We Never Knew," available in December by the Bluffton Icon. Here's the story behind this photo:

In 1905 the Western Ohio Railroad, an electric interurban, had its track laid on Main Street. Before the electric wires were installed the company used steam locomotives to carry rail and ties.

St. John's Reformed confirmation class of 1910 - from "The Bluffton We Never Knew"

Here are members of the St. John's Reformed Church (today St. John's United Church of Christ) confirmation class in 1910.

It is one of nearly 170 photos in "The Bluffton We Never Knew," a book to be released in December by The Icon.

Front row from left, Clara Niswander, Rev. Settledge and Gertrude Niswander.

Standing from left, Minnie Mueller Basinger, Rose Luginbuhl, Marie Matter Craig and Blanche Criblez Wilkins. (Photo from St. John’s church archives)

Photo from "The Bluffton You Never Knew"

Prior to 1897 Bluffton residents' water came from wells. The town-wide water system developed shortly after that.

Here is one of the most unusual photos of Bluffton you will ever see. It's a test of water pressure in 1897 or 1898. The test occurred during the opening of the Bluffton water plant. It demonstrated that the pressure enabled water to shoot higher than Main Street buildings, a plus for the fire department.

Are you certain this is Bluffton?

Yes, it's Bluffton. This Lake Erie and Western freight is loaded with Bluffton stone. It sits on a siding at the National Quarry at Jefferson Street. The year is 1910 or 1911.

Frank McElroy, a stone company employee, standing on one of the cars of stone.

This is one of many photos published in "The Bluffton We Never Knew," photographs from Bluffton's first half century, 1861-1911. The book is being released by the Bluffton Icon.

If this is 1890, it must be Bluffton

If this is 1890, then this must be Bluffton.

It is Bluffton and it is Main and Cherry in one of the earliest photos of Main Street. Will Triplett took this photo.

Please look at the addition two photos below - we've enlarged portions of the original photo to look closer at this scene.

Here are some observations: