Down Home in Cherokee County, Alabama

Bluffton? Where is Bluffton, Alabama?

Read about this Cherokee County ghost town

Maps: "Plat of the City of Bluffton " and "Rock Run and Vicinity" from UA Map Collection

The Rise and Fall of Bluffton

Nowadays, if you should ask your average Cherokee County resident to direct you to Bluffton, he would reply:
a) "You must mean Cedar Bluff,"
b) "It got covered up by Weiss Lake back in '61,"
c) "You got me confused with two other fellers," or
d) "Who?"

The correct answer, of course, is "none of the above." Bluffton was Cherokee County's only boomtown... continued...

Bluffton: Cherokee County's boom town gives up ghost

The Anniston (Alabama) Star, Thursday, Nov. 11, 1982

By DAVID STACKS, Star Staff Writer

BLUFFTON--There are no schools, storefronts or passenger-train depots in Bluffton anymore, and only a few scattered Victorian homes remain.

Barely a century after Yankee investors made this hilly southeastern Cherokee County community an iron-ore boom town, only spreading oak and sweet-gum trees remain from the years of once-busy streets and Sunday afternoon family outings... continued...

The Life and Times of Robert Smith

By Bobby McElwee, Cave Spring, Georgia

Researched by Edna Stephens, Lawrenceville, Georgia

In this lengthy and well-researched account, Mr. McElwee and Mrs. Stephens tell about the history of Bluffton and also present their case that two of their notorious ancestors, Will Smith and his son Bob Smith have been unjustly demonized. Mrs. Stephens is the granddaughter of Bob Smith.-Travis Hardin


1908 newspaper accounts of the killing of Will Smith and the pardon of his killer.


Rock Run Furnace. Choose 'save target as' to download larger picture

(1) ROCK RUN FURNACE. Built in 1873 by Alfred and Theodore Royer, it was Operated as Bass Furnace, Rock Run Iron and Mining Company and Bass Foundry and Machine Company. It employed 400 men at the height of its operation.
(2)ROCK RUN COMMISSARY and the home of J. M. Garvin, Superintendent of Rock Run Furnace. Both pictures are circa 1890.
--Cherokee County Museum. Thanks to Homer Voiles. (The photos were copied from a newspaper, thus the poor quality.)

Click for a detailed JPG of the Signal Hotel One view of the Signal Hotel at what was Bluffton. The date of the picture can be estimated from the car parked at the entrance. Mid 1920's is my guess.
Click for a detailed JPG of the Signal Hotel Another view of the Signal Hotel. These pictures were supplied by Homer Voiles of Cherokee County.
[signal hotel invitation outside]
[signal hotel invitation inside] Dated April 22, 1890, the invitation pictures were sent by
Amy Robertson(Laduska2 at aol dot com) in March 2003. The invitation was passed down from her father's mother.
Salem Baptist Church 1930's Salem Baptist Church 1950's Salem Baptist Church 1998
Salem Baptist Church in the 1930's (it appears).  Download larger picture Salem Baptist Church about 1950. Salem Baptist Church 1998. This and two previous photos contributed by Elaine Russell.

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