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Historical Bluffton

Main Street Bluffton in the summer of 1959

Main Street Bluffton 1960

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Main Street Bluffton in the summer of 1959 looked like this. On the west side of Main Street to Church Street is C.F. Niswander and Son farm implements, Urich's IGA, the Charles Co., Crow's 5 and 10, and Citizens National Bank.

On the east side is the Carma Theater, The Horseshoe Grill and Niswander's Newstand.

Victorian Bluffton school

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You don't have to be older than 60 to appreciate this photo, but you do need to be that old to say you attended school in the building.

The stately Bluffton Victorian school, located on the site of the current elementary, was razed in 1954 to make way for the new building.

We welcome comments from viewers who attended classes in the building.

Photo from a colorized postcard owned by Fred Steiner

East side of Main circa 1906


Here's another post card photo of Main Street probably around 1906. It was no doubt taken the same day as the previous photo. The photographer simply moved north a few hundred feet.

In the window of the "restaurant" (today Forever in Stitches), a sign reads "Soda." The fronts of these stores have changed very little since this photo was taken.

A view of the east side of Main circa 1906

Main Street circa 1907


We recently showed you the west side of Main Street at the turn of an earlier century. Now we show you the east side from the same era. In this view, the photographer was standing in front of what today is Citizens National Bank, looking toward the town hall.

Main Street snapshot circa 1915


There are times when small packages offer huge surprises. This photo represents one of those times. The original photo is a snapshot measuring 2 by 3 inches. It is taken from a family album, but carries no explanation.

When enlarged the photo reveals much. Of course, you recognized the view is Main Street Bluffton taken from what today would be in front of Common Grounds coffee shop looking north. Judging the Ford Model T on the left, which appears to resemble a 1915 model, that puts this photo in the mid-1910s.

The final steam through Bluffton


Here's a rare black and white photo of the last-ever steam locomotive to pass through Bluffton. It was in the mid-1980s.

The Lima-built NKP Berkshire locomotive was pulling a steam fan excersion train from Muncie, Ind., to Bellevue. The trackage through Bluffton since has been downgraded by Norfolk Southern. Steam locomotives are too heavy to risk travel on the local rails.