AT&T Long Lines
Bluffton, OH

The principal structures at Bluffton are a hardened underground building, a self-supporting steel lattice microwave tower with several horn-reflector antennas, and three surface buildings of conventional construction. The outward flare of the tower's legs at the base is an unusual feature at AT&T facilities. The tower may have been designed that way so it would straddle the underground building, allowing the tower's weight to be supported by separate foundations.

Bluffton was built as a main station on an east-west coaxial-cable route. The adjacent stations on the route are Medina, OH to the east, and Plano, IL to the west.

A 1970 route map shows a north-south cable, between Toledo and Dayton, crossing the Medina-Plano cable west of Bluffton. A 1979 map shows that the Toledo-Dayton cable had been re-routed to pass through Bluffton.

Both maps show Bluffton having a single microwave radio route, going northwest to Ayersville, OH.

Also located on the Bluffton property was a switching center for AUTOVON, the AUTOmatic VOice Network, a long-distance telephone system designed and managed by AT&T for the Department of Defense. The switch, named Toledo Junction, was owned and operated by an independent company, the Benton Ridge Telephone Company, and was located in the building on the left in the image (below) titled "View looking west".


Photographed in 2002 by Michael Schwiebert
Select an image to view a larger version

View looking southeast

View looking south

View looking west

View looking north

View looking southeast

Power substation

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Created on September 29, 2004 at 23:11 by Albert LaFrance