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October 20, 2021

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Corner of Lawn and Elm - 135 years past

This Bluffton photo was taken around 1886. It shows the home of Rudolf and Barbara Amstutz Althaus, with their daughter, Bertha, standing at their gate. 

The house is at the corner of Lawn and Elm, today just north of the St. Mary's Catholic Church parking lot.

Several things to note:
• Several pine trees in this photo still stand on the property, including two in the front yard.
• Note the unpaved streets and obvious ditch drainage system in place.
• When this photo was taken Lawn Avenue was called Mill Street because a mill was at the Riley Street connection to the street.
• We assume Will Triplett was the photographer, although his name is not on the photograph. Whoever took the photo was standing on a very high ladder.
• The gate around the house was to keep goats on the property.

Today this property is owned by Andy and Wendy Chappell Dick. It was the childhood home of the Icon owner, Fred Steiner. His grandmother is the young girl in the photo and his great-grandparents are Rudolf and Barbara. The family was featured in a recent Swiss Connection column.