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RR #3, near Onoway, Alberta, T0E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/07/03

Sharman House, near Onoway; Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management, 2006
View looking northeast
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Other Name(s)

The Sharman Stone House and Yardsite
Sharman Stone House and Yardsite
Sharman Stone House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/09/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Sharman House is a two-storey stone building situated on 2.47 hectares of land near the Town of Onoway. The home was completed in the late 1920s and is distinguished by its picturesque exterior, which is composed of different shapes and sizes of split fieldstone. Other prominent features of the home include a hipped roof with intersecting roof ridges, hipped wall dormers, three tall stone chimneys, and a two-storey bay projecting from the southwest corner of the building. The yard includes mature evergreen trees north of the house dating from the period of construction.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Sharman House lies in the excellent craftsmanship evident in its split fieldstone construction and the home's picturesque aesthetic appeal.

The earliest settlers in the Onoway area preceded both the arrival of the Dominions Lands Survey in 1904-05 and the coming of the Northern Alberta Railway line in 1909. One of the region's pioneers was Thomas Sharman, an Irish farmer and stonemason who took up land in the district in 1903. In the process of clearing his fields, he amassed a huge collection of fieldstones. In the mid-1920s, Sharman decided to make good use of his quarry; with the assistance of his son and some local neighbours, he designed and built the Sharman House. Sharman's craftsmanship is evident in the quality of the split fieldstone masonry and the solidity of the building, which consists of two-foot thick walls set atop a board-formed concrete foundation of equal thickness. His aesthetic sensibility is reflected in the picturesque composition of the various colours and shapes of stones and in the irregular plan of the home. It is also apparent in the blending of Queen Anne and Craftsman style architectural elements Sharman incorporated into his home, including visible rafters, four-panelled wood doors, four-over-one single-hung windows, and plain fir stairs with square newels and square spindled balustrade. The well-conceived marriage of materials, craftsmanship, and architectural sensibility has imparted to the Sharman House its distinctive character and charm.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 2145)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Sharman House include such features as:
- general mass, form, scale, and style;
- various colours and shapes of split fieldstones that compose the exterior;
- quoin-like corners;
- hipped roof with intersecting roof ridges and three tall stone chimneys;
- hipped wall dormers;
- two-storey bay projecting from the southwest corner of the building;
- visible rafters;
- fenestration pattern and style, including four-over-one single-hung windows;
- original interior elements, including four-panelled wood doors, plain fir stairs with square newels and square spindled balustrade, extensive fir interior trim, cobblestone fireplace, fittings, and heating grates;
- smooth coat, plaster-like finish of interior walls;
- extant water well in basement;
- landscape elements north of the house, including mature evergreen trees in the yard.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Thomas Sharman


Thomas Sharman

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 2145)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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