By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — Residents of Fulton could soon welcome another historical site to the quaint, river town.
At a Fulton City Council meeting Monday, councilwoman, and historical society representative, Barb Mask, communicated to the council that the society will work to put their headquarters site, the Martin House, on the National Historical Registry in the upcoming year.
The society last visited the issue when applying for a spot on the national registry for the historic district of downtown Fulton. At the time, they didn’t have the funding or the man power to follow through with the Martin House, but now they will move forward with the application process after being approved by the city council.
“It is symbolic for this city,” Mask said. “A lot of communities don’t have a building in that good of shape that was built in 1855. We don’t have a building downtown that’s as old as that.”
The house, built in 1855, is one of the oldest standing structures in the city and it belonged to Leonard and Maxine Martin. The Martin family donated the home to the city of Fulton and now the historical society is responsible for the upkeep of the property and operation of the home.
To share the history rich home with citizens of Fulton, the historical society has turned it into an active museum and features monthly programs to educate the community about Fulton’s deep heritage.
By adding the Martin House to the National Registry, it will give Fulton an opportunity to share that heritage with historians all over the country.
“This is a plus in the sense that there are people who take bus tours and only visit national historic sites,” Mask said. “Realistically we’re not going to get bus loads of people into Fulton just to visit that but that is one of the advantages.”
The historical society has made the commitment to raise money to fund the application process and any ensuing costs with being on the registry, all that was needed from the city council was an approval to move forward with the application, an approval that came unanimously among the council.