Originally the town had names such as Zanow,
Scanowe, Sanowe, Czanow, Tzanow, Sanow. The name itself probably comes from
some Slavic term for „hay” (Polish „siano”). The oldest seal of the town comes
from the mid 14th century and presents a fish griffin facing
right,  against a checked background,
beneath which there is wavy water and the inscription: „S' SIVITATIS DE
SANOWE”. A fishgriffin was a coat of arms of the Święc family, the gentry
ruling in Darłów, Sławno and Polanów and the wavy water symbolizes the river
Polnica. Sianów was founded onthe important medieval trade route between
Szczecin to Gdańsk. The history of the first settlement in this area is not
known; the oldest mention of Sianów comes from the document dated back to 1311
which mentions „villa Sanow” in the description of the borders of
Gorzębądź. The next mention comes in the document of the 6 June 1330 drawn up
by Sławno Castellan (alderman) Jan Święc, concerning the border agreement
between the Cisters Cloister in Buków and the landed estates of Jarosław and
Jan von Natzmer. Meanwhile, the first mention of a rural settlement in Sianów
comes from a document drawn up in 1335. Eight years later, on 11 February 1343
Piotr Święca from Polanów, a nephew of the Sławno Castellan, Jan, granted
municipal rights under Lubusz law to the settlement.The town was endowed with a
village along with meadows, called Nigendorp, later Neues Dorf (probably the area
of today‘s ulica Łubuszan )[1.1]; it also obtained the right to use surrounding
rivers, lakes and forests. This granting was repeatedly confirmed by the Kamień
dukes and the bishops who came into possession of Sianów after the second half
of the 14th century. It is known that in 1353 bishop Johannes from Kamień
(Cammin) bought the Polanów land, including the castle and the town of Sianów.
The castle and the town constituted so-called pawned land. In 1372 Sianów was
the property of the Duke Bogusław VI and Barnima V but from 1386 the
ownership was passed to the Kamień diocese. In about 1400, the town was owned
again by the dukes and came under the authority of dukes in Darłowo. During the
period of Thirty Years’ War the town was seriously impoverished and in the
following years its independence was strongly limited, especially after the
death of Bogusłam XIV and incorporating (the annexation???) of Pomerania by the
Province of Brandenburg. As a result of fights between the gentry and townsmen
over  privileges,  Sianów fell into a conflict with the national
government of Pomerania in 1684 and was degraded to a town of secondary
importance. The resolution of 5 June 1662 issued in Kołobrzeg confirmed the
municipal rights of Sianów as being part of the Darłowo Castellan’s land but it
was denied the judicial and voting rights. At that time the town struggled with
financial difficulties. The income was mostly derived from sheep breeding and
the animal fairs which took place three times a year . In about 1750,  Sianów was one of the most important
suppliers of sheep wool stored in Sławno.The crafts were developed to a much lesser
extent, though. The Seven Years’ War, plagues and the marching of Napoleon’s
army contributed to the fall of the town’s economy. However, in spite of
serious damage and financial predicament in 1743 the town bought the lake
situated between Skibno and Sianów and in 1780 
built an urban mill, a lumber mill, an oil mill and a groats factory. A
difficult economic situation was deepened by natural disasters, including the
hurricanes which struck the town in 1800 and 1813.

In later years, economic boom
brought about economic growth and led to reforms in agriculture. The town
developed in terms of industry. On 1 October 1845 a matches making factory owned by Kolbe was
opened. In the following years it was considerably developed and in 1861 it
already employed 80 people. In 1871 the Pohl brothers started a second matches
manufacture and in 1899 a soap factory was opened. The road network linking
Sianów with other neighbouring towns was also developed. The end of World War I
was followed by the influx of people from the lands given back to Poland as a
result of which 91 new flats were built in Sianów. During World War I Sianów
was economically impoverished. Many men were conscripted to the army, there
were not enough raw materials and disruptions occured in communication and
transport. The lack of food was becoming more acute.  After the end of WW I, the economic problems
continued to plague the town . The large global crisis of 1929-1933 had
also  negatively impacted on the town’s
economy. The lumber mill, the concrete factory, the tile factory and several
other craft manufacturers suspended their production. At that time the Nazi
movement intensified its activity. At first the workers of the local factories
were opposing the Nazi’s actions.   The
anti-fascist rally organized on 4
July 1932 outside the town hallserves as  proof. After the rally, the Nazi
Storm-troopers attacked the workers but were thoroughly beaten by them.After
Hitler’s ascent to power, this incident wasthoroughlyinvestigated and the
protestors imprisoned for a long time. In 1938 three major factories were
operating in Sianów: the matches factory, the factory of agricultural tools and
the concrete factory. Therefore, the period before the outbreak of World War II
was not particularly favourable to the town. During the war many forced labour
workersstayed in the town and its vicinity: these were Poles, Russians, Dutch
and others. Sianów was liberated on 3 March 1945. From the north-east, four Soviet tanks of
III Guards Armoured Corps entered the town. They were commanded by
Colonel-General AleksiejPanfiłow fighting in the II Bielarussian Front under
the command of  Marshall Konstanty Rokossowski.
Part of the German army surrendered and the remaining soldiers fled in panic
towards Koszalin. Right after the liberation the Soviet military commandant’s
office was established in Sianów and the Poles staying there elected the first
Polish mayor in the mid March 1945. A. Turzyński was appointed for this
position. As a result of the war, 15% of Sianow’s houses were destroyed.. In
April and May 1945 the first settlers arrived in Sianów. They came mainly from Pomerania and Kujawydistricts and in August the first
repatriates arrived intown.. In August 1946 the civil administration took
back the matches factory occupied by the Polish Army unit and began its
reconstruction. The process of rebuilding the factory went smoothly and its
opening ceremony coincided with the eighth anniversary of the war’s outbreak.
The post-war period saw a systematic development of the urban infrastructure[1.2].

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Footnotes
  • [1.1] http://mapa.szukacz.pl/,
    [updated  14.06.08].

     

  • [1.2] http://www.sianow.pl/historia/historia.htm, [updated 14.06.2008].