top of page
Anchor 1

If These Walls Could Talk

Contest Guidelines

This year's competition is open to all Sheridan, IN, high school students.


   1.To enter the competition you must register online by Monday, November 30th, 2020. You may register here.

   2. You must register for Great Towns, Inc., to be able to communicate with you over the next few weeks while you are doing research and conducting interviews to include in your essay.


   3. The deadline for the essay to be turned in is Monday, February 15, 2021. You may submit your completed essay by email or it can be snail-mailed. It must be postmarked or time-marked by MIDNIGHT.

Sorry, no exceptions.

   4. To begin your essay, first choose ONE of the three historic buildings selected to be your subject. The buildings are as follows:

                Stanley Brothers Building at 300 South Main Street,

                Farmers National Bank - also known as Keever's Sheridan Hardware at 500 South Main Street.

              Issachar Church - at 501 South Main Street.

   5.  Your essay should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words long. Use a 12-point standard and double-space your text.

   6.  Please cite ALL YOUR SOURCES whether internally or externally (i.e. interviews and research ) using MLA style.

  7. You need not tell the entire history of the building, but seek out the most interesting stories or facts. You essay should include these topics:

  • When was the building built and what is the style of architecture?

  • What was the building used for originally and/or at various points in time? (Be specific in your reporting.)












  •  Name THREE recognizable architectural features of your building using newly learned terms to identify them. (For example: gable windows, portico, Eastlake carved doors, etc.) For books that can help you identify special features ask your librarian to see the books and pamphlets provided by Great Towns, Inc. and Indiana Landmarks.

8.  You may learn more about the building by going to the Assessor’s Office at the County Courthouse in Noblesville, by interviewing older townspeople or relatives who can share facts and/or tell anecdotal stories about the building and people who worked or lived there, and by searching through old newspapers, yearbook photo albums, scrap books, etc. Every building has stories to tell—so try to play detective and uncover as many as you can! Then, follow and tell us the most interesting one!

9.  After you have a grasp on the history of the building, start thinking about the FUTURE, and what your building could become! Think about and share your best ideas on:

  • Your recommendations for historic preservation of the building. What could be

       done to preserve it to the way it once looked?

  • Aside from the business or entity that may be housed there now, what OTHER use or kind of business could be there?

  • What kinds of businesses would you like to see in Sheridan?

10. Use your imagination and be as descriptive as possible. There are no limits!

11. As you write your essay THINK VISUALLY! Collect images, if you can, or take some photos because if your essay is selected as a finalist, you will choose a "video partner" from your schoolmates to help you turn your ideas and essay into a video that will be seen by the whole town! You could be famous!

12. The deadline for the essay contest is Midnight Monday, February 15, 2021. Completed essays must be submitted by email or U.S. Postal Service to:


​     If These Walls Could Talk-

     C/O Great Towns, Inc.

     P.O. Box 30262

     Indianapolis, IN 46230

 13.  A team of judges will select up to FOUR Finalists for the essay competition. Each will receive a Smartphone as a prize and be asked to read their essay at a public celebration. The Finalists will then choose a student partner to assist in making his/her essay into a video.

 14.  Great Towns, Inc. experts will provide technical assistance and a workshop to help Finalists make their videos.

 15.  The videos will later be shown in the community, and the public will be asked to vote for their favorite. The winning team and two adult chaperones will receive two complimentary nights at a historic Bed & Breakfast Inn in Indianapolis, a private historic architectural tour provided by Indiana Landmarks, and a $500.00 (each) Scholarship to the post-secondary or higher education institution of their choice!

bottom of page