Wells County

Historical Museum

Visit our Museum at 420 West Market Street in Bluffton, Indiana

Stewart-Studabaker Victorian Mansion    TheMuseum, known as the Stewart-Studabaker house, is listed on the
NationalRegister of Historic Places* .  It is open from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday - April through October, and on Wednesdayfrom 1 to 4 pm - June through August. Groups may visit any timeby appointment.  A $250,000 building restoration project has been completed.   Air conditioning has been installed providing a better environment for the many museum items, as well as comfort for summertime visitors.

    The beautiful three story brick Victorian mansion housing the Museum was built in 1882 by Alvin Stewart, an engineer in charge of construction of the first railroad through Wells County, the LE&W RR or Lake Erie and Western (nicknamed "Leave Early & Walk"). The Wells County Historical Society purchased the home in 1974. Its fourteen rooms house more than 10,000 carefully catalogued items relative to Wells County's history, culture, industry, and genealogy. These items are either on display or available for study and research. An extensive library devoted to Wells County history, records, and genealogy is available for research.

    Two rooms on the first floor and two rooms on the second floor are decorated as they were in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    Exhibits are constantly changing -visit often.

    Featured is an exhibit of Everett Scott memorabilia. Scott, a Bluffton native, was a member of the Boston Red Sox, and later the New York Yankees in the 1920's. He established records, some broken only recently. A friend of Babe Ruth, they roomed together. Recently, the Bluffton High School baseball field was named Scott Field in his honor and memory.

    Among the Scott material on display is his first pay check from the New York Yankees and a baseball autographed by Scott and his friend, Babe Ruth.

    Another Bluffton native featured is Charles C Deam (1865-1953), a local druggist whose hobby of botany developed until he became an authority recognized world-wide in his field. "Plain ol' Charlie", as he called himself, was Indiana's first state forester.  Named for him are the Deam Oak, Deam Lake State Recreational Area, and the Charles C Deam Wilderness Area. You can read Jon Bennett's book "Charles C Deam: The Story of a Rare Hoosier Hybrid" atthis site.

     Other displays new this yearinclude "Monday, wash day - Tuesday, ironing" with an original Horton handoperated washing machine, made in Bluffton before the turn of the century.   Read pages from the Civil War diary of William Bluffton Miller (the first child born in Bluffton).   And coming soon, a display of late1800 - early 1900 photographs and the equipment of Bluffton photographerArnold Ashbaugher.

*  Wells County sites on the National Register:
       Wells County Courthouse (reg.1979)
         CornerMain  & Market - Bluffton
        Stewart-Studebaker house (reg. 1979)
              414 W Market St - Bluffton

       Bethel Church (reg. 1984)
             4500 East, 300 South - Bluffton
       Villa North Historic District (reg. 1985)
            North Main St - Bluffton (State Road #1)

Link to:   WellsCounty Historical Society/Museum - Coming Events
Link to:  WellsCounty History
Link to:   WellsCounty Genealogy GenWeb Page

Returnto Wells County Historical Society Home Page

 The Parlor City Internet has provided this web space as a public service.We sincerely appreciate the Internet service they offer for our area.

Please send your comments, suggestions, and questions concerning the Historical Society or Museum to: cleonard@parlorcity.com

Last update May 11, 2002