Vanishing Texas Vernacular Architecture


Sharp General Store

Located in rural Central Texas, Sharp is one of those “blink your eye and you miss” places.  And I almost did.  The community grew up around a Presbyterian church that was built in the 1870s and was named after William Frank Sharp, a physician in nearby Davila.  In 1895-96, a General Store (above) was built by Daniel G. Davis, Sr., a Civil War veteran.  Davis and his descendants operated the store until 1985.  During its life, it was the area’s largest mercantile building and the main outlet for local produce.  The store also offered banking, public scales, and a place to socialize for the area’s residents.

A local school district, comprised of the communities of Lilac, Duncan, and Oakville, was established in 1931.  Along Farm Road 487, there are the remains of an old school building, built in 1939.  The cornerstones proclaim that funds to build the school were provided by the federal Administration of Public Works under the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Also included on the cornerstones are names of the Board of Trustees, the Architect (J.E. Johnson), and the Contractor (J.R. Blackmore & Sons).  The brick school has an almost Bauhaus look typical of the 1930s, except for the main entry which is embellished with pilasters, lintel, and frieze made of local limestone.  Additionally, there is an out-of-place split-pediment false window made of limestone on a building projection located at either end of the building.  Architectural license I suppose.  While the exterior of the building remains in decent condition, the roof has collapsed in several large areas, exposing the interiors to the elements.  Looking through the windows one can see the sky in many places.

You can see more photos of the Sharp School on my website.  Information for this post came from:

REFERENCES:  Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “SHARP, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 30, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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