The Lost Sharp House

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
        -George Santayana, 1906

One question on our minds recently is, will history repeat itself even if people DO remember?  After a Saturday morning handing out fliers at Miller's regarding our current Matts house effort, it struck me how many people remember the demise of another local landmark back in October 1987...

Originally built in 1859, Dr. Howard Addison Sharpe used house in the early 1900's for his family and medical practice on the Southwest corner of County Highway M and Verona Avenue.  He was Verona's town doctor and practiced medicine in an office portion of the house until his death in 1940.  It moved between different owners after that and at one point was owned by the city until being sold to a local entrepreneur in 1969. His plans for the building didn't pan out and by the late 1980's it had sat vacant and fell into disrepair.

In July of 1987 the city council allowed the property to be subdivided into separate parcels zoned for commercial.  A demolition permit was acquired, and a developer bought the land - announcing that a Hardees restaurant would replace the house.  Verona citizens began to register their opinions, as seen in these clippings:

Public outcry was strong but because the property was privately owned the sale could not be stopped.

The conversation continued after the building's demise:

The most common comment I heard from folks on a recent Saturday morning as I handed out Matts house fliers was "Remember what happened to the last one?", mixed in with references to the Hardees that eventually failed.  The site is currently occupied by Park Bank.

The Verona Press
The Wisconsin State Journal
Special thanks to Maggie and the Verona Public Library Reference Desk