Carroll House
Fullerton, North Dakota

Built in 1889
Restored in 1989
  

HISTORY

   Fullerton's founding father, Mr. Edwin Forrest Sweet, had the Carroll House built in 1889 when Fullerton was two years old. He named it "Carroll" for his son, a name that had been in his family for many years.

   Mr. Sweet came from the east, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the early 1880's. He was very active in his home town as well as the state of Michigan, serving in congress as a Cabinet Aid, and as Mayor in Grand Rapids. He learned of the vast prairies of Dakota from a fellow colleague, Mr. Ben Porter, while attending law school. Thus he and his father-in-law, Mr. E.P. Fuller, decided to come and investigate. They acquired the property at that time and donated the land on which Fullerton was plotted as well as donating land for a cemetery, school, Union Church, and several businesses. Mr. Sweet offered the Soo-Line Railroad free right of way if a depot could be established in Fullerton. This was accomplished and this agricultural community prospered, thus the need for a hotel  became a reality. The name Fullerton comes from Mr. Fuller. This three story building is designed somewhat like Mr. Sweet's home in Michigan. It is quite unique in this area, with a Mansard roof being the most unique feature. The top floor was originally a ballroom which was used for dances as well as most social events of the day, such as church meetings and Sunday school. Fullerton had it's own concert band directed by James Barrett. Local musical groups who furnished music for the dances and parties were the Von Eschens and the Pazandaks. These groups would make about $2.50 on a "good night".

   In 1907, the demand for more hotel rooms prompted Mr. Sweet to have the ballroom divided into seven more rooms. Thus, the end of the ballroom era. The 1930's brought changes, resulting in the hotel being used for apartments. Some of the people who lived there were the Richard Sturma, Henry Ubben, and Lawrence Kretchman families. In 1934, Mrs. Reed operated a beauty parlor on the second floor (she also lived there). In the 1940's, Mary Sturma operated the Carroll House as a board and room facility on the first floor.

   Rob Johnson, a man of many talents, purchased the Carroll House from Mr. Sweet's daughter, Sophia Janeway in 1943 and lived there for 25 years until his death in 1968. He took a great interest in the Carroll House and saved many clippings about it's early years which were helpful in the study of it. It was then sold to two businessmen from Minneapolis, Bill Baker and Robert Van Houer, who used it as a hunting retreat for about 10 years. Then they sold the property to the Fullerton Community Betterment Association for $1.00, stipulating that the Fullerton Community Betterment Association restore this unique building. When they saw the results, they generously donated new windows for the top two floors. Betterment accepted the "challenge" and work began in 1982. A goal was set to restore the Carroll House to its original status, furnish it in the turn of the century style, and operate as a hotel, giving the public opportunity to enjoy the nostalgia of the past. Today, Fullerton is proud to say this has become a reality.

 
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