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October 18, 2018

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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

Several observations:
• Street is not paved – imagine what mess a heavy spring rain might produce
• No apparent gas lights - the street was totally dark at night 
• The photographer was probably Will A. Triplett. Even taken in bright sunlight, the exposure was slow because the second horse on the left is blurry - it moved while the photo was taken
• Trees are on the east side of the street, and further north, trees are on the west side of the street.

This photo is in the book "The Bluffton We Never Knew," published this winter by the Bluffton Icon. The book is not yet available, but pre-orders may be taken for $19.95, by contact: info@blufftonicon.com.