Thursday, March 15, 2007
The Fulton mansion was, by far, the largest and most sophisticated home built in Southwest Texas at the time of its completion in 1877. It was built in the Victorian style, including an unwise basement, based on the experience of the owner; who lived most of his life in the Northeast and Midwest. The owner, George Fulton, was a self educated man, who inspired by the Texas fight for independence, gathered a like minded group of Northerners and headed to Texas to take part in the struggle. Timing is everything, and they managed to arrive a full year after the struggle was over. Finding himself short of funds, but in the company of men who shared his views, he soon became friends with a gentleman who was soon to become the first Governor of Texas. He loaned Fulton some money and offered him the job of tutoring his numerous children. The oldest of these was Harriet, who, when she turned 18, George Fulton married.
They moved back north and Fulton engaged in a number of different occupations for much of his life. In the 1870’s Harriet’s father passed on and left Harriet and her husband 28, 000 acres of land populated with long horn cattle. Suddenly Fulton was a cattle baron. They moved to Texas and built “Oakhurst”, as they called the house and became pillars of the ranching community.
In addition to its size and style, the house was also very impressive to the locals because it had inside plumbing with running hot and cold water, flush toilets, and central heating to all floors. It also used all gas lighting from a generation plant located inside the house.
After the Fulton’s left the home, it was owned by several others as a private residence and finally from 1960 until sold to the State of Texas in 1976, it was used as the “Fulton Mansion RV Park.