Historic Downtown Sidney
Twenty-nine of Sidney’s downtown buildings earn spots on the National Register of Historic Places. Sidney is the only city in western Nebraska to have the “Historic District” designation because of the city’s adjoining buildings, which are not interrupted by a new building or an empty lot. Many of the buildings carry the historic decor and architecture of the late 1800’s. Sidney, the oldest western Nebraska community established nearly 20 some years prior to most western Nebraska communities, was the “Capitol” of all of western Nebraska during the frontier days of settlement.Its colorful western lore rivals that of any western frontier town, especially during the Sidney-Deadwood Gold Rush of 1867. This was an era when Sidney’s “front street” which ran along the street adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad, was dotted with over 80 saloons and numerous gambling halls, boarding houses, brothels and what was then considered as the “World’s First 24-hour Theatre”.
As many as 2,000 gold seekers, adventurers and desperadoes would enter and leave frontier Sidney on any given day. It was the site of many old west shootouts and colorful western lore that earned it the title as “The Toughest Town on the Tracks.” Those traveling by UP coach were even advised to not leave the passenger car and do so only at their own risk when it stopped in Sidney. Tourist today can take a step back in history on a walking tour of downtown Sidney.
TravelStorys Historic Sidney Walking Tour an easy to use app for your tablet or smart phone takes you on a GPS enabled podcast-type tour of historic Sidney.