515 South Street was first owned by David and Mary Sharp, who lived there from 1905 until 1908. David Sharp was an Elgin Fire Marshall until he was killed in action while fighting a fire in 1908. After his death, his widow Mary continued to reside in the home by herself until her death in 1922. After that, the ownership transferred to her son Roy and his wife Alta where they stayed for the next 48 years. 

Along with 515 South Street's good fortunes of consistent ownership by the Sharp family, the original builder was famous, local architect, W. Wright Abell. A designer for many of Elgin's most beautiful and revered homes, he is arguably best known for his role in the design of the Teeple Barn. Sadly, the Teeple Barn was destroyed by high winds in 2007 but not before it was listed as both a local landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.


515 South Street is an excellent example of the Shingle style. Popular in the late 1800s until the 1910s, many Shingle homes differentiated themselves from their contemporaries by deviating from elaborate ornamentation around windows, doors and porches. The main distinguishing feature of this Shingle home is the use of continuous wood shingles even up through the cross gables. Other character defining features include the asymmetry; the steeply pitched roof line with intersecting gables; and the shingles walls with no interruption at the corners.



Sources: 2006 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud