SIDNEY — The long-postponed dedication ceremony for the statue of Shelby County’s namesake, General Isaac Shelby, has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. on the courtsquaare in downtown Sidney. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Aug. 29, 2020, as part of Sidney’s Bicentennial celebration. Like so many of the events scheduled for the Bicentennial, the event was postponed, a casualty of the pandemic.
While the original ceremony would have featured the sitting governors of Ohio and Kentucky, several of Ohio’s former Governors, both of Ohio’s United States Senators, local Congressmen, the Ohio Senate President, the Speaker of the Ohio House, and a host of other state and local officials, the September 10 ceremony will be a much scaled-down version of the original.
“As originally envisioned, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine would have both spoken and then helped unveil the statue of Gen. Isaac Shelby,” Bicentennial Committee Co-Chair Bob Guillozet said. “Mike (Barhorst) had communicated with their offices, and had also reached out to former Ohio Govs. Dick Celeste, Bob Taft and Ted Strickland, all of whom planned to attend the ceremony.”
“In addition, he had made contact with numerous other national and statewide office holders, all of whom had expressed interest in attending,” Guillozet said. “Mike had told me that he thought it would likely be the largest collection of politicians ever gathered in Sidney, and I’m guessing he would have been right.”
“Events such as that originally envisioned are nearly impossible to replicate,” Barhorst said. “After all the months, the County Commissioners reached out to me and simply said, ‘Let’s get this done!’”
“We found a date that worked for the four of us and simply moved forward,” Bicentennial Committee Co-Chair Barhorst said. “Perhaps the only thing that will resemble the original dedication ceremony will be the presence of the Sidney High School Band, and remarks from the three commissioners and myself.”
The statue of General Isaac Shelby was sculpted by Zanesville sculptor Alan Cottrill. The statue was moved to Shelby County after it was finished and has been awaiting installation on the courtsquare since. Although Cottrill planned to attend the original ceremony, he too, will be absent from the September ceremony because of schedule conflicts.
Craftsmen from the Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio will travel to Sidney to install the statue prior to the ceremony.