The City of Sidney, named after Sir Philip Sidney, a well-known poet and member of British Parliament, was originally a 70-acre parcel of land located along the west side of the Great Miami River. This land was donated by Charles Starrett to be used as the site of a new town which was to become the county seat of Shelby County. The area around Sidney was once the richly-forested hunting ground of the Shawnee and Miami Indian nations. This fertile area was developed as agricultural lands over time
The construction of the Miami-Erie Canal between 1825 and 1837 connected Sidney in a north/south direction with the major trade centers in Ohio. In addition to opening the first significant
outside trade for Sidney, the construction of the canal also attracted an influx of settlers to the area.
As the influence of the canal declined, another transportation element, railroads, began to develop in Sidney. East-west rail began to be laid in 1851, followed by north-south rail in 1856. Sidney is still served by these railroad lines today.
In the 1950s, another transportation element, the Interstate Highway, would play a significant role in the development of Sidney. Today, Interstate 75 connects Sidney with Canada to the north, and Florida to the south. Sidney has four interchanges with Interstate 75, providing quick and convenient access for both commercial and industrial users.
Today, Sidney is a progressive, growth-oriented community of approximately 21,000 population. Sidney offers a historic downtown featuring the famous Louis Sullivan designed People's Savings and Loan building, the Monumental Building (erected as a monument to those Shelby Countians who died in the Civil War), and the Shelby County Courthouse. The Courthouse, which occupies one city-block known as Court Square, was recently named as one of the
Great American Public Places.
Another unique characteristic of Sidney is its outstanding parks and recreation system. When the City's first comprehensive plan was being developed in the mid-1950s, the City decided that it would be an attractive feature to have a park or recreation area within a half-mile of every residence. This goal has resulted in a system of 14 neighborhood parks, a baseball complex, softball complex, soccer complex, municipal swimming pool, and the 180-acre Tawawa Park, nature and picnic area.
Sidney offers a variety of employment opportunities, a variety of housing stock, and an unsurpassed level of quality of life amenities. Regardless of whether you are looking for a place to locate your business, to establish a home, or just to visit, Sidney, Ohio has what you're looking for!