The Ohlman-Shannon House, located in Yankton near the South Dakota–Nebraska border, is one of the state’s finest examples of Italianate architecture. It was constructed in 1871 for Charles McIntyre, owner of a local mill who had purchased the property in 1868. The site overlooks the Missouri River and is one of the highest points in Yankton, on what is known as Magazine Hill, which served as a storage area for gun powder during the city’s earliest days.
The two-story house sits on a raised basement and is constructed of chalk rock from the nearby river bluffs. A broad staircase leads to the main level with its wraparound veranda and gingerbread details. On this level are two-over-two rounded top windows with shutters; the upper level originally featured round-headed windows with bracketed window hoods but these have since been squared off. The house is topped by a fifteen-foot cupola that towers above the shallow-pitched hipped roof and is elaborately decorated with a bracketed cornice, dentils, and scroll-sawn railings.
In 1878, Yankton’s most prominent businessman, Martin P. Ohlman, purchased the property. His descendants continued to occupy the house until 1975. A late 1950s renovation resulted in the conversion of the basement level into a garage space, although the changes are concealed by the veranda. The house was also stuccoed around this time, since the porous chalk rock had deteriorated over the years. Today, the house remains well set back from the property line, although other residences have since been built immediately to the rear (south) along West Second Street.
Gerloff, Scott, “Ohlman-Shannon House,” Yankton County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1976. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.