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Historical Bluffton

Bluffton glue factory had a reputation of being scary

Bluffton mysterious place series

By Fred Steiner,

In the early 1920s a Bluffton business on Spring Street served as a depository for dead and dying livestock. Providing an important service for farmers, it was a shipping point to a Kalida glue factory. Even though the Bluffton business wasn’t a glue factory, people referred to it that way, since it was the collection point for the factory. Some animal parts contain collagen, historically used in making glue, from hooves and bones of horses, mules and cattle. The need for collagen to produce glue created a demand for dead livestock.

Roscoe Evans - famous from Bluffton

By Fred Steiner,

Roscoe Evans, who helped construct and then for 23 years was in charge of maintenance on the world’s largest pipe organ, located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The website offers additional details, photos and links to the famous organ. This story was originally published in the Oct. 14, 1937, Bluffton News.

Maintenance man and caretaker of the world’s largest organ, which requires a building 10 stories high to house its 33,056 pipes is the job of Roscoe Evans, formerly of Bluffton, who was here visiting old friends during the past week.

The former Bluffton man an expert on organ construction has been responsible for the care and tuning of the great organ in the Atlantic City Convention hall since it was completed four years ago.

38 winters ago, snowplows lead Bluffton school buses on routes


Blogging at, Fred Steiner reminds us that March weather is unpredictable. In this post, he takes us back to a snowy school day in the early 1980s.

By Fred Steiner

Thursday, March 8, 1984, was not a typical school day for students in the Bluffton school system. Students on that day experienced something never before or since has taken place.

Students arrived safely at school in the morning, but the morning’s snow storm made it a risk to take students home.

What’s that mound on Thurman Street?

Bluffton mysterious place series

By Fred Steiner,

This is a continuation of the series featuring Bluffton’s 10 most mysterious locations.

What is the oldest existing structure in the village of Bluffton? Where is it and what was its use?

The answer: The remains of a lime kiln and ashery used in making lime and soap. You will find it on the Riley Creek bank at the bend of Thurman Street, across from the EMS building.

The American House, another Bluffton mysterious place

Part 3 in series

By Fred Steiner has identified 10 of the most mysterious places in Bluffton, and this is installment three in that series.

When Bluffton’s early business district developed, its hub centered around the Main and Washington streets intersection.  

This may surprise many residents today.

Several buildings with multiple businesses existed there at one time. Some, but not all of those buildings remain today. Most prominent is the Et Cetera Shop at 327 N. Main., the Slaw Cutter and the red brick building across from Et Cetera.

Bluffton Forever: Dr. Robert Drake Murray

Soldier and physician, yellow fever control specialist

By Fred Steiner

A yellow fever specialist and expert, Dr. Robert Drake Murray, of international renown, was a son of Bluffton. 

During his career, he was looked upon as a leader in combating yellow fever and was sent by the U.S. government to take charge of places where yellow fever became epidemic.

Born in Ohlton, Ohio, in 1845, his parents Joseph A. and Nancy Drake Murray moved to Bluffton in 1855 when it was still called Shannon.

His father, Joseph, served in the Mexican War (some time during 1846 - 1848).