SIDNEY — The Shelby County Historical Society honored Leroy Beard, of Sidney, Thursday, by naming him the Historian of the Year, during a reception at the Ross Historical Center, here.
Beard has shared Sidney history on the Facebook site, You Know You Are from Sidney If, for many years. The site has garnered more than 7,400 followers. He was the unanimous choice of the society’s board of trustees for this year’s award.
In noting Beard’s accomplishments, society Secretary Rich Wallace told the crowd how important it is that someone who cares about the community can make such an impact on preserving Shelby County history. Wallace noted that Beard goes out of his way to help families find their connection to the community through history. The award-winner has worked long hours to provide photographs and information to people here and across the globe who want to learn more about their Shelby County connections.
The reception was for members of the Facebook group, as well as society volunteers, civic leaders and the public. More than 50 people attended.
Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst proclaimed Thursday Historian of the Year Leroy Beard Day in Sidney.
After receiving the award, presented by society Director Tilda Phlipot, Beard thanked everyone and admitted the presentation was a complete surprise.
During the reception, refreshments were served that represented beloved restaurants from Sidney’s past. The Spot provided much of the food. Included were Boston nut sundaes, made onsite by current Spot owner Michael Jannides in honor of his grandfather who owned The Purity, and ham salad sandwiches, also hailing back to The Purity; hot dogs with chili sauce and root beer representing the BK and Frostop Root Beer stands; old fashioned creme pie from The Spot; long johns representing the Quality and Yeager bakeries; kettle chips reminiscent of the Sidney Potato Chip Co.; popcorn, red peanuts and popcorn balls like those sold by numerous popcorn wagons that once sat around the courtsquare; and cherry Coke, a favorite of youngsters at restaurants all over town.
Attendees got a sneak peek at the latest exhibit in the Ross Center: “Coming Home to America” will be seen by almost every fifth-grade class in Shelby County during school field trips to the museum during the next month. The exhibit is also open to the public through Feb. 28.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.