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In the days when Bluffton had 12 saloons

By Fred Steiner

In the late 1890s Bluffton had 12 saloons.

These saloons, for men only, offered several hard-liquor options to their customers. 

This was also a period in the life of the community when several signs posted on Main Street read “No spitting on sidewalks.” Meaning tobacco spitting.

While not every saloon was on Main Street, most were. To picture this, consider that there are approximately 40 businesses today from the town hall to the library, including Vine and Cherry streets. Image 12 housing saloons. 

One can imagine how the Women’s Christian Temperance Union became a driving force at this time. 

One of the saloons, the Monarch Billiard Saloon, advertised its liquor and wine selection in the Bluffton News. The advertisement follows, which lists the stock available. We do not know the location of this pool hall and saloon.

 From the July 13, 1893 Bluffton News

Take notice–Having just added to my former large stock, some of the best brands of fine liquors and wines I am now prepared to offer for sale such as:

• 8-year-old Overholt rye

• 12-year-old Crow

• 7-year-old Gugenheimer rye

• 10-year-old Kentucky Club

• 6-year-old Crystal Rock

• 8-year-old Hancock Club

• 9-year-old Crow

• 6-year-old O.F.C. Taylor

• 9-year-old McBrayer

• 7-year-old fine Bourbon

• Hennessy & Co.’s Cognac Brandy

• Jeneva Gin

• Imported Port wine

• Blackberry wine

• Blackberry brandy

• St. Julian wine

• California grape wine

• Missouri Riesling wine

• Kreuter bitters, etc.

These goods are all bottled and labeled true to name and are a better quality than has ever kept in stock at this place.

I can recommend them to all, especially to those who are sick and weakly, to give them a trial.

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