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What exactly is Bluffton Forever?

Everything from Bluffton history including stories about people, events and
structures you remember... all the way to the present... showing today's art, flora and fauna

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Snider Circle on the                             Lima-built steam locomotive                            Leland Gerber,  Bluffton                        Great blue heron
Bluffton University campus           hauling fast freight through town                   photographer 1950s-70s                      fishing in Riley Creek

Welcome. Your curiosity landed you here. Now, allow us to explain what you are about to explore.

 

This website is a collection of Bluffton, Ohio, curios. Think of the small towns you know or remember. Bluffton fits somewhere between Spoon River, Winesburg, Ohio, and possibly Brigadoon, although it won’t disappear for 100 years.

 

Geographically speaking, we are on the edge of what was once the Great Black Swamp, some 840 feet above sea level and at exits 140 and 142 on Interstate 75, about five miles north of the famous Lincoln Highway.

 

Bluffton Forever provides viewers with stories and photographs about our town and the people who live here, and those who lived here generations before.

 

And, although George Washington never slept here, one of his Revolutionary War aides is buried here. And John Dillinger robbed our bank in 1933 and Elvis Presley stopped here for gas in 1956 between appearances in Troy, Ohio, and Toledo, Ohio.

Put another way, containing essays, photographs and accounts old and new, Bluffton Forever focuses on the hearty souls, art, flora, fauna, Swiss ingenuity and other factors that make our vibrant, rural Midwest community worth celebrating.

 

And, borrowing the lyrics of another famous Ohio song: Bluffton, forever, in dreams again I see, visions of what used to be.

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Fred Steiner

Who created
this website?

Fred Steiner created this website for your enjoyment. As a Bluffton lifer, he is a 1968 Bluffton High School alum, spent one year at Bluffton College and graduated from Bowling Green State University with a journalism degree in 1972.  

He edited the Bluffton News, from 1978 to 2009 - minus a 5-year stint somewhere inside that era as editorial director of CSS Publishing House, Lima. 

Then in 2008 Fred created Bluffton Icon and later Ada Icon, community journalism websites. He sold them in 2021.

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Bluffton Foreverthe Bluffton HS fight song 

Here’s the story about “Bluffton Forever,” the forgotten Bluffton High School fight song. It’s the reason we’ve named our website Bluffton Forever.

 

The 11936-37 high school year book included the words to the school fight song, (the book called it the pep song), which follow below.

 

It is not known, however, when Bluffton students adopted “Bluffton Forever,” but 1936-37 is the earliest year that we’ve found lyrics. 

 

In 1953, BHS students loved the song so much, they dedicated a full page with lyrics and music in the high school yearbook, the “Buccaneer.”

 

The initials RDJ, found at the bottom of the of the sheet music stand for Rodney Jennings, a graduate who excelled in music in his professional career.

 

During the 1950s and into the 1960s “Bluffton Forever” was sung every time the Bluffton football team scored a touchdown.

 

The song became a call to victory and was used to rally students at pep rallies before high school football and basketball games. The song continued its popularity with students well into the mid-1960s.

 

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Harry Blausey, an Ohio State University graduate, became the Bluffton High School instrumental teacher and band director in 1964. As an OSU student, he played cymbals in the OSU marching band. He faded out the familiar Bluffton Forever replacing it with “Across the Field,” which was the OSU fight song.

 

Today the BHS band continues to play its own rendition of the OSU song, however it contains slight differences to the OSU version. And, today, “Bluffton Forever” is becoming part of forgotten Bluffton.

The lyrics

 

Bluffton forever, we will sing to you;

We’ll defend our standards in what ere’ we do, rah, rah, rah!

 

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here, singing with our might

We’ll stick together for the red and the white.