Historian Giving Presentation On Bluffton’s ‘Golden Age’

Bluffton historian Fred Steiner will be giving a presentation about Bluffton’s “Golden Age,” covering a period from approximately 1886 to 1900.

The presentation will be given at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25th at the Bluffton Public Library.

“Bluffton was a boom town during these years,” said Steiner, who will show photographs and share stories from the era during the program. The above picture is a group of young people in the 1890s.

Several significant developments occurred in Bluffton, which rival any 15-year period in the town’s history.

  • Oil and natural gas discovered in Findlay, Bluffton’s first oil well drilled in 1890
  • Business district, offered wide selection of products and services
  • A dozen saloons operated here
  • Town hall built in 1887
  • Water plant in service in 1896
  • Municipal power plant in service in 1897
  • Telephone arrived in 1898
  • Central Mennonite College opened in 1889
  • Population in 1900 was 1,783; 50 years earlier the town has 12 families
  • Northern Ohio Railway provided passenger and freight service
  • Lake Erie and Western Railroad provided passenger and freight service
  • Bluffton was one of the largest shipping points for dressed poultry in the United States, according to a news item in the Bluffton News.

The program is free and open to the public. The library is at 145 S. Main St.

Attendees are suggested to contact the library to RSVP at 419-358-5016.