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Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

Black History
Civil War
Gold Rush
Law and Order

Railroad Era [1851-1870]

After construction of the canal, Sidney, Ohio, became prosperous enough to attract their first railroad line, (1851-1853), the east/west Bellefontaine and Indianapolis railroad. Again, construction brought more immigrants and increased business to the area. During the two year period required to build the line, approximately 1,200 Irish laborers headquartered in Sidney. In 1854, steps were taken to secure a line of the Dayton and Michigan Railroad. Although this depressed the local economy for a period, the combination of the canal and railroad links would ultimately provide a powerful economic stimulus for the entire community.

Industrial Era [1870-1893]

Following the Civil War in the 1860s, the nation’s economy began to rebound and most of Sidney’s lots held locally by the Dayton & Michigan Line had finally been repurchased. A great number of Sidney industries came into being to meet the growing needs of a rapidly industrializing nation. At the same time, existing manufacturing operations experienced tremendous development. The community’s financial prosperity led to phenomenal architectural development and growth.

The years between 1870 and 1890 were characterized by intensive construction around Sidney’s courthouse square. Seventeen buildings were erected in the 1870s, incorporating a mixture of styles. Between 1880 and 1893, eighteen additional buildings were constructed, the majority in the High Victorian Italianate style, the preferred style for downtown commercial buildings.

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'Downtown' segment written in October, 1998 by Sherrie Casad-Lodge 


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