Who constructed the wall on Marsh Run? Why? When?
An ascetic limestone wall, where the waters of Marsh Run join Big Riley Creek on that long tedious journey to Lake Erie and beyond, floods our minds with questions.
Some may think it, stealing the words of Charles Dickens, as a venerable stone edifice of an unknown legend.
Bluffton’s oldest maps show that Marsh Run connects to the Riley at the wall’s location as far back as 1880.
Artistically hand-crafted stone slabs fitting together as if formed in one enormous piece, it stands guard where the two streams convergence, fighting decades of nature’s erosive forces.
Viewing it from the Benroth Memorial Bridge it forms a slight curve, 50 feet long, nearly six feet high and two feet thick. The late Fred Tschantz said that Marsh Run originally emptied in the Buckeye stone quarry. The Run was rerouted as the stone quarry began operation.
Is it Bluffton’s oldest human-made structure?
How old is the wall?
Who created it?
For what purpose?
The wall almost touches the Benroth Memorial Bridge, just off Main Street. And if you are brave enough you may travel the rough steps leading from the parking lot on Main to the structure.
If only a builders’ stone, revealing the story of this structure, older than any traceable antiquity, would step forward. Perhaps the waters of two streams in the passing of time mesmerized the ancient wall into a long silence, forever suppressing its past.
This is a previously posted feature, reposted as a part of our summer series on Riley Creek mysteries and older Bluffton swimming pools. This series continues throughout the summer.