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Our 100-year parade

It's 1961 during Bluffton's centennial celebration

Here is one of the best photos ever taken showing Bluffton’s Main Street in the early 1960s. Many things have changed in this photo, or have they?

This is a bird’s-eye-view of the 1961 Bluffton centennial parade looking north on Main Street at the Church-Main intersection.


It’s interesting to note that the parade watchers are more than six-deep, which rivals most Blaze of Lights parade crowds.


Some of the store signs identify Niswander’s News Stand and the Greyhound bus depot, (Roots by Stratton’s), Drugs (Twisted Whisk) and Crow’s (Citizens National Bank).


On the very top of the Basinger Furniture building (The Black Lab) stands the fire siren used to call members of the fire department when a fire was reported during this era.


There’s so many additional things to point out that we’ll allow viewers to study the photo as the unnamed high school band marches by.


Bluffton’s centennial in August 1961 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of Bluffton as an incorporated village. Prior to 1861, Bluffton existed as an unincorporated village called Shannon.


Who took this photo? We don’t know, but we’ll list possibilities as Charles Hilty, Leland Gerber, Milt Edwards or Paul Diller.


And, why is a corner cut off at the bottom left side of the photo? Probably because there was a photo identification placed on that spot for printing in the Bluffton News. We’re guessing Gene Benroth cut the wording off the print, as this photo was once part of his collection.



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