It's where Bluffton gets its news!
December 12, 2018

You are here

Early Main Street bridge

Here are two photos of a Main Street bridge over Riley Creek - earlier than the present bridge in that location. Both photos are in the book "The Bluffton We Never Knew."

Bluffton pioneer photographer Will Triplett took the two photos in 1895 at the opening of this bridge crossing the Riley on Main Street. A note written on the envelope holding the negative reads “Bridge on Indian Trail.” This confirms the story that Main Street was originally a trail created by Native Americans.

This bridge was replaced by the current bridge in the 1920s. Except for John Amstutz (second from right), a county commissioner, the men are Bluffton council members.

Two other men are Al Saint John and Peter Amstutz. The others are unidentified. Mr. Saint John owned a sucker and rod factory on land that is today Harmon Field. It was one of Bluffton’s major employers prior to 1900.

The photo below

 A second photo of the bridge includes a  man on horseback. A handwritten note on the negative envelope reads City Councilmen on new North Main Street bridge. This photo was taken from the northeast side of the bridge looking toward Riley Street. Notice the power poles. The scene demonstrates how the Riley has filled in over the decades. Today the stream is much narrower than in this photo.