You are here

Historical Bluffton

1974 WBGU documentary Bluffton USA now streaming online

In 1974 WBGU-TV produced the 58-minute documentary "Bluffton, USA." Recently, the Icon watched it with great interest at the Bluffton Senior Center. When we called to inquire, WBGU put it at the head of the line for its new streaming service and you can now watch the show at

Bluffton is home of the “ashless cigar”

By Fred Steiner

Created by a 1919 BHS graduate 
It’s a little-known fact that Bluffton, Ohio, is the home of the patented “ashless cigar.”

Why there’s no sign at the edge of town stating this fact is something I’ve never quite figured out. Perhaps it’s time to do something about it. So, here’s me doing something.

This cigar information is a long-held secret in my family, who happens to hold the patent.

A Civil War emblem in a Bluffton church window?

Forgotten Bluffton story from

By Fred Steiner

Few residents are aware that a Bluffton church features four of the most unusual emblems ever seen in a church window anywhere.

As a serious student of this community’s church windows, Bluffton Forever believes that the most intriguing, most beautiful and most ornate windows in the village exist in the First United Methodist Church.

Forgotten Bluffton: A power plant and a quarry

By Fred Steiner

Why is there a lake on Jefferson Street between Riley Creek and the Norfolk Southern Railroad?

For viewers who may be unaware, the site of John's Body Shop on Lake Street was once a large coal-fired power plant. It was razed in 1982.

And, the lake, now known as Cob Lake was originally called the National Quarry. Prior to it becoming a lake, it was a stone quarry.

The most courageous person I ever knew

Photograph of Captain Richard Louis Basinger courtesy of The Virtual Wall.

By Bill Herr, Icon columnist

Courage is defined in Webster's Dictionary as mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The most courageous person I ever knew was my friend, Dick Basinger. His father was my Vocational Agriculture teacher at Bluffton High School, Mr. Lorain Basinger. 

1893 Bluffton High School grads speak their minds

By Fred Steiner

High School graduation weekend is here. The Bluffton High School class of 2022 is the 141st class to graduate from our school system. The first class, of 1881, had six graduates.