Buchtel, Ohio

Snapshot comparisons of Buchtel since its founding in 1876 by John R. Buchtel to the present offer glimpses of the fabric of the town. In 1876 the Akron Iron Company Furnace employed 600 men while the 2010 census states only 558 residents in Buchtel. In 1883 the company store was once noted as the ‘most extensive mercantile establishment in the Hocking Valley’ and today a Marathon gas station exists as the main place of commerce with a newly opened mechanic garage being the other business in town. The surrounding landscape was dotted with 47 local schools at one time and in 1967 the consolidation of Nelsonville City School District and the Buchtel-York Local School District was complete. Tales of 13 bars along the main street of Buchtel contrast with the closing of the last dining establishment in 2012. In 1964 Route 78 replaced where the old railway tracks used to run alongside Buchtel and now serve as the main thoroughfare in town.

The long and fabled history of a ‘black diamond town’ ripples through the community with many residents echoing their grandparents’ tales of harsh coal mining conditions, the famous water trough, and the bustling Buchtel of yesteryear. Generations of families make up most of the town and point to being in a comfortable, safe and connected community as the driving force for living in Buchtel. Constructed at the start of Buchtel and renovated over the last few years&mdashThe Methodist Church and the Catholic Church provide two of the main structures within the town. The Nelsonville-York school may now be the main focal point within the Buchtel area, sitting on Route 78 just as you enter the town limits.

The church and community seem to interweave to show faith as a strong and binding force in the town. Charming, quiet and quaint&mdashBuchtel residents will often stop if an out-of-towner appears to need roadside assistance. Limited employment opportunities standout as the main downside for the residents, yet many seem contented with their lot in Buchtel and often refer to their hillbilly ways with a smirk and sense of pride.  

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