Residents restore 1903 home into event space

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Carrie Haderlie The Sheridan Press Via Wyoming News Exchange

SHERIDAN — As people continue to gather more and more, a local business owner is offering a home in the heart of Sheridan as a setting for stress-free events. South of Main, a renovated historic home at 205 Coffeen Ave., is an “intimate event space” located in a restored 1903 home.

” It’s comfortable. I think that might be my favorite word to describe the space,” said Sarah Houghton, owner of South of Main. “It’s also historic and quite traditional. The house is 119 years old, so during the restoration process we stayed true to its history while making it accessible to today’s events. It really is a brand new old house.

South of Main offers event space and design services for gatherings such as strategic planning sessions, meetings, private parties and celebrations. Guests can bring their own food, drinks and decorations into the space, or ask Houghton for planning suggestions and dining recommendations.

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Upstairs is Oram & Houghton, PLLC, where South of Main co-owner Matt Houghton practices law. The couple bought the house in the summer of 2019 and began the renovation process.

“We called it a remodel, but it ended up being more of a restoration. We were really passionate about keeping every door and window and everything we could,” Houghton said. “We kept everything we could, but I left a lot of surfaces (open) because I didn’t want to decorate too much. I want people to be able to bring their own drinks, food, or decorations, or have space for gifts if they’re having a baby shower or party.

The ground floor, available for rent after 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends, includes a living room with fireplace; a fully equipped kitchen with a gas stove and refrigerator, serving dishes, pots, pans and dishes; and a formal dining room.

During warmer months, the wraparound porch and backyard provide additional space, so events can range in size from a few people to larger crowds, Houghton said.

She does not provide food, but has a list of additional resources to offer her clients, from a list of local caterers and private chefs to decorating services. The couple had the space updated, decorated, stocked and ready to rent in February 2020.

“Then COVID happened,” Houghton said.

Opening a space like South of Main a few days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down wasn’t ideal, but Houghton said things picked up.

“We had a few small events, like maybe a wedding reception with less than 10 people, but we didn’t do much the first year,” she said. “Now we can host a wide range of events. We’ve done everything from book clubs to business meetings that might not need a lot of technology, like strategic planning sessions, surprise parties, baby showers and weddings.

Julie Greer, who hosted a personal event at the space this fall but is also a project coordinator for the Center for a Vital Community, said the space is unlike anything in town.

“It’s unique, and also it’s just beautiful inside. You feel comfortable in there and Sarah did a great job with all the wood restoration. It has that personal feeling and is just intimate, but really tasteful,” Greer said.

The Center for a Vital Community is always looking for places to host events, and South of Main would likely be a location that could serve other businesses and nonprofits, Greer said.

“Besides the possibility of having a personal event in space, it will also be great for other organizations,” she said. “So many people at my event asked me if this was my house. No, I wish!

A space like South of Main offers the host the opportunity to truly enjoy their own event without the stress of having to host at home, Houghton said.

“At all times in my house I try to keep it clean, but there are Legos and puzzles,” said Houghton, who is a mother of two. “It can be stressful when you have children to house. … It’s nice to just walk into a space that’s clean and decorated and ready for an event. That was the vision behind it all.

While she’s not sure the idea of ​​home renovation into event space is a trend elsewhere, she said it’s been a trend in her lifetime.

Houghton grew up in Oklahoma, where her father was an urban planner who enjoyed the historical preservation of his work best. His family also served as caretakers of a similar house in his hometown. Although they have lived in Sheridan for over a decade, the name of the business, South of Main, is a play on both his childhood in the south and the fact that the house is in the south. from the main street of Sheridan.

“I have always liked old houses. My dad and I, on a Saturday morning, were watching ‘This Old House’ with Bob Vila,” Houghton said. “I love how they would transform these old houses and bring them back to life.”

For more information on the space, see southofmain.co.

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