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The Great Flood of 1913

Caused destruction in Bluffton 110 years ago this month

Cherry Street 1913 and 2023

This flood became so devastating that it had a name: The Great Flood of 1913. It’s also called Ohio’s greatest natural disaster. And, Bluffton experienced it on March 23-26, 110 years ago this month.

Here’s a photo of the swollen Riley Creek on Cherry Street at the height of the flood. How was this photo taken? In a boat? We don’t know.

The building slightly visible on the left today is Village Cut ‘N’ Curl, 207 Cherry Street. In 1913 the Cut ‘N’ Curl building and the building connected to it was the Ed Jones Furniture Store.

The center building was the Phillip Wilch buggy shop. The two-story building on the far right was a Triplett storage building.

Believe it or not, a fire occurred in the storage building during the height of the flood, believed to be caused by a short circuit. The Bluffton fire department somehow put out the fire.

George Combs, undertaker, later joined Ed Jones and their two businesses moved to Main Street and the business became Jones and Combs. Today that building houses The Food Store, 103 N. Main St.

Following the Jones store move from Cherry Street, T.A. Kitchen used the two Cherry Street buildings as an agency for the International Harvester Co. The site later became Monroe Amstutz Auto-Salvage lot.

Harold Rau later owned much of this property and the land was a mobile home park. The most recent flood destroyed that park and today it is a vacant lot.

March 1913 - Cherry Street

March 2023 - Cherry Street



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