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The day 500 vehicles an hour passed through Bluffton

By Fred Steiner

Imagine 500 vehicles in one hour traveling down Main Street Bluffton. 

That’s eight per minute. 

That’s one every seven seconds.

And, it happened on Labor Day, 1927. 

Yes, 95 Labor Days ago traffic on Bluffton’s Main Street averaged one vehicle every seven seconds. 

The following account from the Sept. 8, 1927, Bluffton News tells the story. 

Residents today forget that Main Street Bluffton in 1927 was part of the Dixie Highway, carrying travelers from upper Michigan to the tip of Florida. 

There was no bypass around town and it was all two-lane traffic.

Sept. 8, 1927 Bluffton News headline:
Everybody was joy riding Labor Day 

The story:

Monday’s Labor Day traffic was one of the heaviest ever seen on the Dixie Highway. 

Actual count during the rush hours in the afternoon showed a total of 500 cars an hour passing over the highway, an average of over eight a minute or one every seven seconds. 

More to this story:
• This can only mean that someone was counting vehicles.

Who was it?

• The 1927 story states “one of the heaviest ever.”
Does that mean people counted traffic each Labor Day in the 1920s?

Could be.

• Try attempting to cross a street averaging one vehicle every seven seconds without a stop light.
The good news is that Bluffton’s first-ever stop lights on Main Street were installed in 1927.

For the rest of the story, photos and maps, go to





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Friday, September 23, 2022