- Parks and Grounds
- Parks Map
- Recreation Program
- Food Programs
- Monarch Community Center
- Capital Improvement
- Recreation Board
- Contact information
- Park Events
- Parks Histories
- Tawawa Park History
- Memorial Program
- Forms, Permits & Maps
City of Sidney Parks
The Parks and Recreation mission is to improve community facilities, especially parks, youth and senior centers, schools and cultural arts. The main focus is to improve community services with regard to safety, education, recreation, and public health.
The eight major objectives for the Parks and Recreation Department include:
1. Utilizing the Miami River corridor
2. Developing a walkway/bikeway system linking parks and neighborhoods
3. Establishing guidelines for future park planning
4. Determining recreational facility needs
5. Promoting passive open space development
6. Expanding recreational programming
7. Inventory/analyzing existing parks
8. Updating park development standards
Parks and Grounds
This division assisted by seasonal workers takes care of numerous beauty areas totaling approximately 250 acres located within the City boundaries. They also mow the grass along St. Rt. 47 within the City limits, the green area by the Great Miami River and do various other grounds maintenance projects.
The Parks Department has one-full time park ranger that patrols the cities parks, public grounds, and trails.
Maintenance of Parks and Playgrounds
This division has 661 acres of park land at various sites, including 17 playgrounds and 6 city athletic facilities (Custenborder, Flanagan, Harmon, Baumgardner, Landrum and Julia Lamb). Parks Department employees are responsible for mowing, litter removal and preparation of the seven baseball, six softball, ten soccer and two football fields for league activities.
Click on the park location for more information.
2013 Clinics Brochure (pdf)
2013 Summer Lunch Program
100 W. Clay St.
11:00- 11:30 a.m.
Green Tree Park
800 6th Ave.
600 Buckeye Ave.
Alpha Community Center
330 E. Court St.
800 S. Miami Ave.
1000 Colonial Dr.
At each site we will serve lunch Monday through Friday. All programs will operate from June 3rd, 2013 through August 18th, 2013.
Hot meals are prepared daily by Wilson Memorial Hospital.
Monarch Community Center (Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby Co.)
304 South West Ave. Sidney, OH. 45365
In 1912, the City of Sidney purchased the property located at 304 South West Avenue for $1800.00 in anticipation of the Ohio National Guard building an armory in this location. February of the following year, Company, 3rd Infantry, Ohio National Guard, stationed in Sidney received a letter approving the funds to build the armory. It was the fourth of five armories built in Ohio in 1913.
The city again purchased the property and building in 1968 from the State for $18,000.00. They then leased the building to the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA until 1974, when the Y opened the current building on Parkwood Avenue.
The Monarch Machine Tool Company took ownership in 1975, renovated the building and used the facility for company functions.In January of 1997, the City again purchased the Cameo Theater, and changed the name to the Monarch Community Center and in June the following year; it was leased to the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County. The Monarch Community Center was opened in June of 1998 and is the home of the Senior Center. It is maintained by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department
This Monarch Community Center was opened in June of 1998 and is the home of the Senior Center. It is maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department.
A lovely notable building in downtown Sidney with varied meeting rooms and banquet facilities available. Rooms are able to accommodate your small group of 5 or up to 400 people in the Cameo Theatre. The Cameo Theatre room features a stage with dressing area, vaulted ceilings, large kitchen and hard wood floors.
Please contact Executive Director, Eileen Wiseman for specific fee schedules. Discount prices are available to members of the Senior Center.
The Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County
304 South West Avenue
Sidney, OH. 45365
Every year in consultation with the Recreation Board, a list of proposed Capital Improvement Projects/estimated cost is prepared. An attempt is always made to meet priority needs and provide the citizens of Sidney with safe, wholesome leisure activities.
Capital projects for 2013
New Canal Feeder Trail parking lot. Located at the rear of Graceland Cemetery at trail head
Replacement place structure at Brown Park
New play equipment at Milligan I shelter
The Recreation Board meets at 4:15 pm on the 1st Monday of each month in the City Manager's conference room in City Hall.
Sidney Parks and Recreation contact information:
Municipal Swimming Pool
Parks Department Fax:937-498-8109
The following are events that will be happening in 2013
Christian Ac. Softball March-April 5:00 p.m.
Select Soccer March 19th
Select Soccer March 21st
1st United Methodist Church-Sunrise Service March 31st 7:30 a.m.
SHS Jr. High Baseball April-May 5:00 p.m.
SHS Freshman Baseball April 2-May 7
Sting 5K April 6th 7:00-11:00
MS Walk April 20th 6-1 pm
Tawawa Parks Opens April 20th-Oct.31 10:00 daily
B.E.S.T 5K April 27th 7-11 am
Compassionate Care 5K Run/Walk May 5th
Mayfest May 10,11,&12 All day
Hope for Tomorrow 5K May 18th 7-11 a.m.
Miami Co. Flames Softball Tournament May 18th & 19th All day
Brian Adams Cruise In Benefit May 19th All day
Ohio wanter freunde/Volkswalk May 27th Morning
Pool Opens June 1st-Aug. 18th 1:00 daily
Recreation Programs and Food Programs start June 3rd-Aug. 18 11:00-12:15
Tennis Clinic June 3-6 9:00-12:00
Art in the Park Clinic June 5-7 10:00-12:00
Stories in the Parks on Wednesdays June 5-July 24 11:00 a.m.
Lehman Alumni Tennis June 14 & 15th All day
Basketball Clinic June 19-21 1:30-3:30
Big Brothers & Big Sister 5K and duck drop June 20th
GOBA June 21-22
Arts and Craft Clinic June 21 & 28
Lehman Alumni Softball June 22nd All day
Girls Stinger Classic Soccer Tournament June 22nd & 23rd All day
Hiking Clinic Monday & Wednesdays June 24-July 17 9:30-10:30
Biking Clinic Tuesday & Thursdays June 25-July 18 9:30-10:30
Movie Day June 28th 8:30-10:30
Money Concepts Tennis Open June 28-30 All day
Sidney Dance Company-Color Run 5K June 29th 8:30a.m.
Kids Around the Square June 29th 9:00 a.m.
Arts and Craft Clinic July 5 & July 12 9:30-10:30
Fishing Clinic July 8th 9:00-10:00
Checking out the Creek July 9th 1:30-3:30
Take Back the Night 5K July 18th 8:15 p.m.
Pool Games and Fun July 19th 9:30-10:30
Tawawa/Geib -Tawawa Runners 5K Aug. 3rd 7-11 am
Shelby County Applefest Sept. 13th-15th 9:00 a.m.
Kids Fall Festival Oct. 19th 10:00 a.m.
Winter Wonderland Parade Nov. 15th 6:30 p.m.
Research completed by Cheryl Michaels and Janet Ross 2009
Deam Park is located at 2230 North Main Avenue. This property acquired by the City of Sidney is named in honor of Emerson Deam. This was done in 1966 at the February 28th Recreation Committee meeting. Mr. Deam served in the U.S. Army in France during WW I. During WW II he served as president of the Sidney Draft Board. In 1939, he served as president to the new city-building commission. Mr. Deam was Mayor of Sidney on two separate occasions. He first served two terms from 1929-1933. He was elected mayor again in 1952 and re-elected in 1954. During his term as Mayor, the Planning Commission was established which in turn set up and passed the Zoning Code. He served as chairman of the Planning Commission until he left office. The city swimming pool was completed during this period. The Sidney Recreation Commission was made a workable reality during his tenure. Mr. Deam later served as a member of the City Zoning Appeals Board of which he was chairman.
JULIA LAMB PARK
In 1913 Julia Lamb, widow of local businessman James Lamb, donated land east of and adjacent to the newly-erected Sidney High School located on East North Street. Mrs. Lamb’s wishes were that the land be forever used as a playground for the young people of the school district. The land was used as the high school football field for many years. According to the agreement between Mrs. Lamb and the Sidney Board of Education, if her wishes were not honored, the property would go to the nearby Presbyterian Church of which Julia Lamb was a member.
After the construction of a new high school, the building on North Street became known as Bridgeview Middle School, and the donated land continued as home to the Sidney Yellow Jacket football team until 2004. In that year, the new football stadium opened on the high school campus. The Bridgeview building was razed in that same year when the Middle School was moved to a new building on Fair Road.
The Sidney Board of Education donated the land, including the old football field, to the City of Sidney to be used as a park, thereby fulfilling Mrs. Lamb’s original wishes for the use of her gift. Julia Lamb Park located at 320 East North Street has a paved walking track and a multipurpose field. It was renamed Julia Lamb Park in 2006.
Central Park is located at 102 North Miami Avenue at the rear of Central Elementary School. Since the park has the shared ownership of the Sidney City School, a church, and the city of Sidney, it was considered less complicated to not confer an official name. The park will continue to be known as it is now called, “Central School Park” according to the minutes of the Recreation Commission at its April 7th meeting in 1997.
Brown Park is located at the rear alley of 601 South Ohio Avenue. This property was purchased in 1972. Brown Park was named in honor of Stephen Brown for recognition of his years of service as a member of the Sidney Recreation Board. Mr. Brown was appointed to the Board in March 1961 to replace Tom Anderson. Mr. Brown was principal of Sidney Senior High School prior to his death. He had been a resident of Sidney since 1953. He came to Sidney from Washington Court House, Ohio, to serve as principal. He was a native of Clinton County.
Berger Park is located at the rear alley off South Miami Avenue. The park was named in honor of the late Carl Berger. Mr. Berger was a civic-minded, benevolent, and leading industrialist who died in 1949. He whole-heartedly supported youth organizations. He served as manager for Sidney baseball commissions and served on athletic boards for baseball and softball. He also served on the board of the Sidney Civic Association and was a member of the Shelby County Fair Board. His keen civic-mindedness was reflected in his active association with various community projects. He and his family held an annual event whereby they entertained all the children of the Shelby County Home to an all-day outing at Indian Lake at their expense each summer.
Berger Park is located on five acres and is ADA accessible with a basketball court, river, picnic area with shelter and a sports field. The hours are 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. The park also features modular play structure and swings, softball diamond, drinking water, and fishing. This park also has a Summer Food Program served from June to August.
Johnston Park is 10.36 acres and is located at 900 Johnston Drive. The land for Johnston Park was purchased by the City of Sidney on December 7th, 1935. The purchase price of $475.00 was paid to; The Citizens Ice, Coal, and Supply Company represented by Val Lee, company Vice President and H. E. Bennett company Secretary. Prior ownership was held by Hamlin B. Blake, and George Vogel, who purchased the same premises from John Carey on April 1st, 1870
CHIEF O’LEARY PARK
Chief O’Leary Park is located at 370 Windsor Park Drive. This park was named in 1996 in honor of William O’Leary. Mr. O’Leary was a member of the Sidney police force for more than 66 years, serving as Chief of Police for more than 54 years. He died in 1954 while still chief at the age of 83.
Humphrey Park is located at Buckeye Avenue. At a Recreation Board meeting on July 11, 1988, George Kratt recommended renaming Tilberry Park to Humphrey Park. It was named in honor of James Humphrey. James P. Humphrey was a lifelong resident of Shelby County. He was descended from the Randolph slaves who settled in the area during the 1840s, and he brought their story to those who were interested in local history. Mr. Humphrey served in City government for several years as a councilman, vice mayor, from 1981 to 1987 was the mayor. He was also involved in many community organizations, such as Kiwanis, the Salvation Army, and the NAACP.
GREEN TREE PARK
Green Tree Park is located in the 800 block of Sixth Avenue. In 1969, the City was offered 1.8 acres of land for a recreation area in the Green Tree Hills Subdivision by the developers of the subdivision. At the recommendation of the Recreation Commission, the City accepted the land and subsequently purchased an additional 1.2 acres from Mr. Fred Wullenweber for a total of three acres. Today the park is on 4.5 acres and is ADA accessible with a basketball court, picnic area with two shelters, play equipment, and a sports field. The park is open from 6:00 A.M. to 10: P.M. It also features modular play structure and swings and drinking water.
Harmon Park is located at 925 Wapakoneta Avenue. The park is named in honor of William E. Harmon. Mr. Harmon agreed to donate $1000 to the Sidney Playground Fund provided that $9000 was secured locally which it was. Mr. Harmon, who lived in New York, visited the playground in 1915 and a parade was held in his honor.
Orbison Park is located at 880 East Court Street on land once owned by the Orbison family. At the April 23, 1962, Sidney Recreation Commission meeting, a discussion was held about the plateau land atop Orbison Hill, a part of Tawawa Park. Interest in this area had previously been shown in earlier commission meetings. At the September 1963 Recreation Commission meeting, a motion was made and carried that the recreation area adjacent to Route 29, Orbison Hill, be officially known in the future as “Orbison Playground.” Today that area is called Orbison Park.
Piper Park is .2 acres and is located at 120 South Main Avenue on the east side of the historical Shelby County Court Square. The property, where once stood a building constructed by Samuel Piper in 1893, containing a grocery and bakery, is now a downtown passive green space. The park is available for those who want to sit down and enjoy the view of the Sidney's court square.
Along with a monetary contribution, NK Parts fabricated the decorative fence, and bike racks that are installed on this parcel. NK Parts made these donations to celebrate 25 years in the community. Piper Park was dedicated on July 13, 2009 with City Council, NK Parts, Recreation Board members, and citizens in attendance.
Riverbend Park is 14.4 and is located at 1400 Constitution Avenue adjacent to Riverbend subdivision. The land for Riverbend Park was deeded to the City of Sidney on June 26th 1981 from Mid-Continent Properties, Inc. for the sum of $1.00, and other valuable consideration. Mid-Continent Properties were the developers of Riverbend sub-division. Peter R. Thompson, Mid-Continent Properties President, signed the deed over to the City of Sidney
Roadside Park is located at 900 S. Main. The land was purchased by the City of Sidney on March 24th, 1902 at a Sherriff’s auction. The Court of Common Please required John W. Gerdes to sell this property to pay a $1554.00 settlement awarded to Frank D. Reed.
Sheriff A. Brandewie was ordered to appraise, advertise the sale, and auction the property in December of 1901. The property sold for $3700.00. This 7.5 acre park were at one time part of the 22 plus acres sold at the Sheriff auction.
Sherman Park is located at 1000-P Fairmont Drive (Colonial Drive). The 2.1 acres of this park were at one time part of a 117 acre farm owned by Lawrence Sherman. Mr. Sherman purchased the farm west of Sidney in the late 1930s. The park is ADA accessible with basketball court, picnic area with shelter, play equipment and a sports field. The park features modular play structure and swings, softball diamonds, and drinking water.
McMillen Park is located at 500-P Carey Street (Highland Drive). The park was renamed in 1966 in honor of Bill McMillen. Mr. McMillen served as a Sidney police officer, and then as a city council member and mayor. Bill was a past recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Zenith Award and the NAACP Brotherhood Award. He had been active in many community causes, but he probably was best known for his coat program for needy children. Since Highland Park at one time was next to the old factory from which the coat program was operated, it seemed appropriate that the park be renamed after Mr. McMillen.
PLUM RIDGE PARK
Plum Ridge Park is located at 673 East Hoewisher Road. It was renamed Plum Ridge Park at the September 11, 2006 Recreation Board meeting. The park is 4 acres and is within the Plum Ridge subdivision.
ROBERT O. NEW PARK
Robert O. Park is located off Bridlewood Trail. The park was named in honor of Robert O. New who served as Sidney Parks and Recreation Director since 1985. From 1972 through 1980, he was athletic director and head basketball coach at Sue Bennett Junior College in London, Kentucky, after teaching and coaching basketball at Sidney High School in 1971. New had also served as boys’ basketball coach at Lehman High School for five years, coaching while working full-time as Parks Director.
The park was named for Mr. New in 2008. This park was deeded to the City by the developers of Plum Creek Subdivision. It consists of 11-plus acres of playfields and another 11.34 acres of green space to be accessed by walkway.
Tawawa Park was established May 24, 1948 under the guidance of the Tawawa Civic Park Trustees. The park was named after Tawawa Creek, which runs through the park. The original members of this group were, Cecil Watkins, William Milligan, Murray A. Ferguson, W.E. Whipp, J. Oliver Amos, Wayne Bertsch, and Jerome Wagner. These civic-minded citizens wished to establish a park and recreational playground for the use and benefit of the citizens of Sidney, Ohio.
The park consists of 220 wooded acres which includes two lakes (Tawawa and Amos). Tawawa Park was deeded to the City of Sidney on March 28, 1956. It was dedicated to Sidney area citizens on June 3, 1956. Tawawa Park is located at 12 Tawawa Drive.
After the "Big Four" Railroad was relocated in the early 1920's the abandoned road bed became a popular hiking trail, especially to the lake to fish and to Big Rock. Walking along the tow path of the canal was also a favorite in the spring and fall of the year. The Kah family owned the land and there was much speculation that the Kah family had plans to develop the land for housing which caused concern to many who thought the highest and best use for the land would be a park for the community. (1)
Shortly after World War 2 ended the Kah family put the land up for sale for $15,000. In order to secure the land for a park, Bill Milligan made a list of 15 people(all of whom have areas named for them)whom he thought he could get a thousand dollars from each and then purchase the land. It was his thought to get control of the land first, and then put together a plan for its development. Milligan's first "ask" was to Wendal Whipp, President of Monarch Machine Tool Company. After hearing Milligan's idea Whipp wrote a check for the $15,000 and said "Bill, go buy the land and then go to the others for their money and let's get this project started". And he did. (1)
In the early development of the Park, the Park Board wanted to open up the canal for canoeing, which meant an outlet for the water was necessary. The original "Sidney Electric Company" building on Brooklyn Av was (and still is) standing. It had housed an electric generator which originally had been powered by overflow water from the canal. Work began to open the canal and outlet the water through the "abandoned" electric generating building. However, in the winter of 1948(?) during a January thaw there was a heavy rain that saturated the high bank along SR 47(Riverside Drive) which breached and flooded the Brunner filling station on the north side of the road. A long law suit ensued, during which time all work on the Park was suspended. The jury agreed that the breach was an act of God and not caused by the Park Board, and so work was contuned. The original idea was abandoned and the canal was filled in from Tawawa Lake to the highway and an outlet was installed under the road bed to Tawawa Creek.
The main drive through Tawawa Park is Whipp Road named in honor of Wendell Whipp, an original member of the Tawawa Civic Park Trustees. Mr. Whipp was president of the Monarch Machine Tool Co. and gave personal financial backing for 26 years to establish and maintain the park. He also served as executive secretary of the Sidney Civic Association.
The City purchased a 29-acre tract of land for $16,000 on July 3, 1973, from the Baumgardner family. This land was adjacent to Tawawa Park. The land was named (1975) in honor of the late Walter E. Baumgardner at the request of the Baumgardner family. On February 24, 1975, the Sidney Recreation Commission recommended naming this area “Baumgardner Recreational Basin.”
LODGE SOCCER FIELD
The Lodge Soccer Fields are located in Baumgardner Basin, 828 Tawawa Drive. The soccer fields were named in honor of former City Council member David Lodge, who was known as “Mr. Soccer”. A native of England, Lodge was discouraged to learn soccer was not an established sport in Sidney. Because of this, he established the first soccer programs in Sidney. Although the growth of soccer has been phenomenal in recent years, Mr. Lodge fought a long and hard battle to get the program established. Mr. Lodge was nominated by the former mayor, James Humphrey, for the naming honor. (2)
WEBSTER GEIB PAVILION
The Webster Geib Pavilion is located in the Baumgardner Basin at Tawawa Park. It was named (1993) in honor of Webster Geib who served for 25 years as a member of the Parks and Recreation Board. Mr. Geib was not only a member of the board, but at one time served as the board’s chairman.
Benjamin Trail is located in Tawawa Park and is the path running the length of the mill race. It was named (1976) in honor of Charles Benjamin, Jr., a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Board. Mr. Benjamin was a constant worker for the improvement of the park area and was known as “Mr. Tawawa.”
Beanblossom Mooring is located in Tawawa Park near Tawawa Lake. It consists of a shelter and picnic area on the southwest part of the lake. Beanblossom Mooring was named in honor of Robert Beanblossom. Mr. Beanblossom was a member of the Sidney Recreation Committee for many years and at one time served as the chairman of the committee.
Bertsch Hill is located in Tawawa Park and was formerly known as “Badgers Bluff.” On November 25, 1974, it was officially renamed “Bertsch’s Hill” in honor of Wayne Bertsch. Mr. Bertsch was a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board. In 1952, Mr. Bertsch was appointed to the Sidney Recreation Commission by then Mayor Emerson Deam. Bertsch’s Hill is claimed by some to be the second highest point in the state.
McDowell Trace is located in Tawawa Park. This area of the park was named (1972) in honor of Kenneth McDowell who was instrumental in the early development of Tawawa Park and was secretary of the Tawawa Civic Park Trustees from 1948 to 1951. He was active in civic affairs as well as being a past member of the City Planning Commission and the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. McDowell became the 11th individual to have a section of Tawawa Park named after him.
Ferguson Circle in located in Tawawa park beside McDowell Trace. It was named in honor of Murray A. Ferguson, a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board. Mr. Ferguson, a general contractor, originated the idea of a civic park for the citizens of Sidney.
Kaser Dell is located just west of Wagner Glade in Tawawa Park. Kaser Dell was named (1970) in honor of Robert Kaser, an outstanding citizen of Sidney who served as a state representative for six years. In addition, Mr. Kaser was active in several civic capacities including City Council, mayor of Sidney (8 years), chairman of the Charter Review Commission as well as past president of the Sidney Chamber of Commerce.
Young’s Cove is located in Tawawa Park beside Mill Race Cove. Young’s Cove was named in honor of Donald Young who served as a board member of the Tawawa Civic Board.
Wagner Glade is located in Tawawa Park. It is the first large picnic area on the north side of the main road. Wagner Glade was named (1967) in honor of Jerome Wagner. Mr. Wagner was a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board, as well as chairman of the Wilson Memorial Hospital Building Fund and a board member of First Federal Savings and Loan Association. Mr. Wagner was also a charter member of the Sidney Community Foundation and a vice president of Wagner Manufacturing Company. (2)
O’Leary’s Niche is located in Tawawa Park just south of Kaser Dell. O’Leary’s Niche was named in honor of Frank O’Leary. Mr. O’Leary was appointed to the Sidney Recreation Commission in August of 1958. He served dutifully on the commission for nine years before resigning in 1967.
Ross Bridge is located in Tawawa Park. It was named (1974) in honor of William Ross, Jr. who served on the Sidney Recreation Commission for 14 years from 1958 to 1972. Mr. Ross generously donated all finances to erect the bridge. The bridge closely resembles several covered bridges constructed in Central Ohio by pioneer bridge designer and builder, Rueben L. Partridge (1823-1900). Mr. Ross also suggested that a plaque be installed on the bridge including names of all those who were involved in its development and construction. It was Mr. Ross’s wish that only his last name be used in naming the bridge.
Milligan Glen is located in Tawawa Park, and this area of the park was named (1966) in honor of William Milligan. Mr. Milligan was a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board. He served as its president from 1948 to 1956. In 1964, Mrs. Margaret Milligan gifted a twenty acre tract of land adjacent to the north side of Tawawa Park to the City. This land was gifted in memory of her husband who had the vision for Tawawa Civic Park.
Kastner’s Patch is located in Tawawa Park. It was named in honor of Mrs. Florence Kastner who was a member of the Sidney Recreation Commission. She was appointed to the commission in 1952 by then Mayor, Emerson Deam. She also served as secretary of the commission and continued serving on the commission until 1958.
Willman Place is located in Tawawa Park close to Milligan Glen. It was named in honor of E.M. Willman. Mr. Willman was a longstanding member of the Sidney Recreation Commission and served as its chairman in 1967. Mr. Willman suggested at a 1967 commission meeting to name specific areas of Tawawa Park in honor of the men active in its development. These men were the original board members of the Tawawa Civic Park Board.
ANDERSON BOTTOM LAND
A shelter area located in Tawawa Park adjacent to Benjamin Trail, Anderson’s Bottom Land was named in honor of Tom Anderson. Mr. Anderson served on the board of the Sidney Recreation Commission, of which he was a charter member. He was a member of the board from 1952 to 1961. Mr. Anderson was also active in the Boy Scouts and was an outdoor enthusiast.
The picnic area near the dam on Mosquito (Tawawa) Creek at the east end of Tawawa Park is named Meyer Meadow. This section of the park was named in 1967 in honor of Oscar Meyer, a member of Tawawa Civic Park, Inc. Mr. Meyer did much of the early excavation in laying out the design of the park.
Cecil Watkins was one of the original members and chairman of the Tawawa Civic Park Trustees, which was organized in 1948. He later served as a member of Tawawa Civic Park, Inc. He was one of the first to advocate the purchase of land for Tawawa Park. The picnic area at the end of the main road, Tawawa Drive, was named in 1967 to honor Mr. Watkins for his vision and efforts in making the park what it is today. In addition, Mr. Watkins was an executive with Amos Press and was an IUTIS Club founding member.
Baker Range is located at the southeast end of Whipp Road in Tawawa Park. This area of the park was named in 1970 in honor of William Baker, a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board.
Emmett Lerch was appointed in 1957 by the Sidney City School Board of Education to serve as its representative on the Sidney Recreation Commission. Mr. Lerch was the chairman of the commission for many years. Lerch’s Nook, located near the east end of Whipp Road, was named in honor of his dedication to Sidney’s parks and recreational opportunities for the city’s residents.
Pointner Knoll is located in Tawawa Park. It is the round hill above the picnic area at the end of the main road (Whipp Road). The knoll was named (1967) in honor of Norbert Pointner, a member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board. Mr. Pointner was responsible for the sign at the entrance to Tawawa Park.
Aschenbach Grove is located in Tawawa Park adjacent to Ward Trail. It was named in honor of Rueben Aschenbach who served on the Tawawa Civic Park Board. Later, Mr. Aschenbach was appointed by then Mayor Emerson Deam to serve on the Sidney Recreation Commission. He served on the commission until August 1958.
“Big Rock” (glacial rock left from the ice age) is located in Tawawa Park and was established in 1876. It is located just off Ward Trail. “Big Rock” located in the park was established in 1876 and is an object of interest to visitors. The following is reprinted from the Sidney Journal, February 25, 1876:
“A few years ago some of the stone cutters employed on the Monumental Building being prevented by want of stone from following their ordinary advocation, entertained the idea of celebrating the Centennial year and handing their names down to posterity. In order to execute this double purpose, they possessed themselves of their instruments of trade and proceeded to “Big Rock” about a mile and a half east of town. The result of their labors was the inscription of the National Shield, under which stands the names of Dr. H.S. Conklin, William Binkley, and G.W. Moeller. Following these comes the names of the artists in stone as follows: George Erhart, John Cook, Fred Peters, D.A. Plant, Michael Strickfaden, and Harmon Michaelis. Under this comes “1876” so that future travelers on the “sands of time,” when the present generation has paid its debt of nature, may know the year in which the artists executed their work.”
Amos Lake is located in Tawawa Park on the north side of the main road. It was named (1967) in honor of J. Oliver Amos, a charter member of the Tawawa Civic Park Board. Mr. Amos was an active member of the community for several years.
Ward Trail, located in Tawawa Park, is the path from the main road (Whipp Road) to Big Rock. Ward Trail was named (1967) in honor of Virgil Ward, an original member of the Tawawa Civic Board. Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Ward deeded five acres of land adjacent to the east end of Tawawa Park to the City of Sidney in 1970.
FLANAGAN SPORTS COMPLEX
Flanagan Sports Complex located at 600 Riverside Drive was named (1998) in honor of Richard E. Flanagan. Mr. Flanagan, an active professional sports figure, died in 1997. He played basketball and track but excelled in football. He was a star football player at Ohio State and played eight professional seasons in the National Football League. “Dick” became the City’s first Parks and Recreation Superintendent and was instrumental in establishing the present park system in Sidney. He retired after 30 active years in this position. The Tawawa Softball Complex was renamed as a tribute to the effort Mr. Flanagan made to provide recreational opportunities for the City of Sidney.
LANDRUM SOCCER FIELDS
The Landrum Soccer Fields located at the upper level of the Softball Complex at 600 Riverside Drive, was named (1998) in honor of Brian Landrum. Mr. Landrum, an O.D.N.R. Wildlife Investigator, died in 1998. He coached a girl’s soccer team known as the “Lady Bees.” Brian had also been an officer and referee for the IUTIS softball program. In addition, he was dedicated to serving in many other areas of youth activities. Soccer leaders and others wanted to honor Brian by naming the soccer field in his memory.
Custenborder Fields, located on Riverside Drive, was named to honor J. Carl Custenborder. Mr. Custenborder was long active in civic affairs of the community. He served as a member of Sidney City Council and was a chairman of the Council’s Parks and Recreation Committee. He was a member of the Sidney Board of Education for nearly 30 years and was also a member of the Sidney Public Library Board. Mr. Custenborder participated in many other local organizations as well as being a member of the Board of Trustees at Miami University.
In the early 1950's the City was in need of more water and purchased the land which was directly across the Miami River from the Municipal Water Plant to install additional wells. As it turned out, no aquafer was to be found, and the land eventually became a state of the art baseball complex. (1)
Taylor Field located at the Softball Complex at 600 Riverside Drive was named (1998) in honor of the late Victor L. Taylor. Mr. Taylor was active in establishing activities for the youth of Sidney. He established the program that was the forerunner of the IUTIS Softball Program. Former Sidney Boys Club members, business associates, and friends were instrumental in paying tribute to Mr. Taylor by naming this softball field in his honor.
DUKE DELOYE FIELD
Duke DeLoye Field located at the Softball Complex at 600 Riverside Drive was named (1996) in honor of the late Duke DeLoye. Mr. DeLoye served for over 30 years with the IUTIS Club. He was involved as a coach, umpire, and concession stand manager. He also was responsible for running an adult softball tournament for eight years.
GEORGE KRATT FIELD
George Kratt Field located at the Softball Complex at 600 Riverside Drive was named (1996) in honor of George Kratt. Mr. Kratt served as a dedicated member of the Sidney Recreation Board for 20 years. At one time he served as chairman of this board. In addition, he also served as a member of City Council. Mr. Kratt would work with Ray Cotterman to replace the lights on Custenborder Field. The men would use no equipment, instead climbing the poles to replace the burned out lights. (2)
RICHARD POPE FIELD
The Richard Pope Field located at the Softball Complex at 600 Riverside Drive was named (1993) in honor of Richard Pope. Mr. Pope, who retired in 1992 as president and CEO of the Stolle Corporation, was active in the community for several years. In recognition of his dedication to the youth of Sidney, the field was named in his honor.
DORIS BLACKSTON PICNIC GROVE The picnic shelter/game area located at Custenborder was named (1996) the “Doris Blackston Picnic Grove” in honor of Doris Blackston. Mrs. Blackston was an active member of the Sidney City Council and Sidney’s first woman mayor. She was interested in a variety of City projects. She was especially motivated to provide recreational services for senior citizens such as the shuffle board and horseshoe courts located in Custenborder Field.
Davis Bridge is the footbridge spanning Tawawa Creek and connects the Softball Complex with the soccer fields in Baumgardner Basin. Davis Bridge was named (1996) in honor of Corliss (Corky) Davis. Mr. Davis served 25 years on the Sidney Recreation Board. Prior to that, he was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He helped start “
RALPH J. STOLLE BRIDGE
The Ralph J. Stolle Bridge is a footbridge spanning the Great Miami River from Custenborder Field to the old waterworks plant. The bridge was named (1993) in honor of Ralph J. Stolle, president of the Ralph J. Stolle Company and former owner of the Stolle Corporation. Mr. Stolle had done so much for the community according to then Sidney Recreation Director, Robert New, who suggested the bridge be named Stolle Bridge after a poll of Recreation Board members at their October 1993 meeting.
VETERANS MEMORIAL WALKWAY
Veterans Memorial Walkway is a paved walkway honoring our veterans. At an October 4, 1993, Sidney Recreation Board meeting, board members agreed the walkway should be named “Veterans Memorial Walkway.”
TRAIL TO EAGLE
Trail to Eagle is named to honor all of the Eagle Scouts that have contributed by completing an Eagle Scout Project in the City of Sidney’s Parks System. The City’s Parks Department collaborated with the local Scouting troops to develop this name, and dedicated the trail in March of 2010. The path was constructed in 2005 as an Eagle Scout project for Andrew Frantz, and took over 300 man-hours to clear. Mr. Frantz was a member of Troop 97, with Thomas Frantz as the Unit’s Leader. The trail traverses through the woods on the north side of Tawawa Creek (AKA Mosquito Creek) from the Ross Bridge west towards Landrum Soccer Fields. Other contributors to the success of this project were; Jon Yost, Steve Baker, Troy Baker, Paul Miller, Devin Yost, Jim Yost, Chris Rossman, Zach Rossman, Robert Frantz, Nick Frantz, Tom Frantz, Jeff Frantz, Nathan Stevenson, Jason Barhorst, Zach Frantz, Chris Frantz, Kevin Sohnly, Kelsey Rossman, Steven Billups, Chase Rossman, Zach Hemmert, Stuart Hemmert, Kym Maxwell, Sean Trabue, Zach Travis, Zane Travis, Dave Travis, Robert Brun, Jody Sheperd, Eva Mullen, Dave Billups.
Brookside Park is bordered on the north by Tawawa Creek, to the east by Knoop-Johnston Road, with the southern boundary being the remnant of the Big Four rail line that was used prior to the Big Four Bridge being built on the south end of Sidney. At one point in history, it was used by the National Guard Armory, with the concrete bunker for firing range still intact on the property. This 27-acre parcel is a continuation of Tawawa Park, making the total area for the civic park more than 220 acres.
In 1949, Mary Marx and her husband sold 35 acres to the Sidney Ohio Local Girl Scouts; this area became known as Camp Brookside. According to county records, in 1955 Tawawa Civic Park Inc. purchased around 7 acres of adjacent real estate, now Bakers Range and Watkins Woods. In 1962, the Sidney Community Foundation took over the remaining property from the local Girl Scout organization, allowing the Girl Scouts to utilize the property as long as they wanted. In the fall of 2009, the City of Sidney acquired the property to develop it into the nature preserve that it is today. With over 1.5 miles of trails, overlooks, shelters, old wood forests, and meadows, this parcel of land is enjoyed by many on a daily basis.
Formal dedication of Brookside was held on October 15, 2011 with local dignitaries, Girl Scout representatives and many citizens participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
- Contribution from Patrick Milligan
- Contribution from Shelby County Historical Society
Research completed by Janet Ross and Cheryl Michaels