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Bluffton Forever: Vacation plans in order?

Vacation plans in order?

That question asked by two earlier generations of Bluffton residents quite possibly meant a railroad trip, beginning and ending in Bluffton. 

In an earlier story posted on Bluffton Forever you will find a story about Bluffton residents taking the train to Chicago to the 1893 World’s Fair. Click HERE for that story.

Sometimes the entire community took the train. Here are two examples of summer excursions involving the Bluffton community and the Lake Erie and Western Railroad. The first is from early 1920. The second from 1899.

There are several “wows” in this story. These include the number of persons who purchase tickets and the number of passenger cars required for these trips. Beyond that, another “wow” is that each of these excursion trains boarded passengers and brought them home the same day. The depot was on Railroad Street. It is now located at the Buckeye Quarry. 

Concerning the 1920s excursion, just imagine for a moment if in 2022 Bluffton could schedule a passenger trip directly from Bluffton to Cedar Point – leaving in the morning and returning in the evening. It will never happen today, but 100 years ago, it was the way to travel. 

The story from the Bluffton News follows:

Off in Morning
On Lake Outing

Town to declare holiday for
Excursion to Cedar Point
This Thursday

Crowd of more than 600 is
Anticipated; train leaves
At 7 O’clock

When liberal portions of fried chicken and other accessories of a picnic dinner carefully stowed away in lunch boxes, municipal Bluffton will enjoy a day’s outing at Cedar Point this Thursday.

The excursion train will leave Bluffton at 7 o’clock in the morning. With the advance tickets sales making a favorable showing, arrangements have been made to accommodate a crowd of more than 600 people. Ample train accommodations have been assured members of the local committee by representatives of the railroad.

The excursion will require eight passenger cars. 

And this story from 1899 

Note: This story has some unanswered questions from persons reading it 121 years after the fact. First, it appears that the train left Bluffton, went to Lima, where it picked up two more cars, and then returned to Bluffton and on to Detroit. That doesn’t really make sense.

 Read the complete story at