Fullerton’s history is so tied up with the history of its unique old hotel, the Carroll House, that to tell its story is to tell most of the Fullerton story. In 1889, Mr. Edwin Sweet had the Carroll House built for a hotel. It was named for his son, Carroll, a name that had been in the family for many years.
When the building was completed on June 1, 1889, all the church meetings and many other events were held in the hall on the third floor. Many concerts, meetings and even gala balls were held on the third floor, which is now referred to as the ballroom. The Carroll House was the site of most of Fullerton’s social events.
In 1907 the hotel had such a demand for more rooms that Mr. Sweet had the third floor partitioned off into seven rooms and the ballroom was no more. In the early 1930′s Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Kretchman used the third floor as their own apartment. At one time, the southeast room was home to a beauty parlor. At various times during its history, restaurant, cream station and lumber businesses were also conducted with the building. .
The Carroll House has had more than 20 managers from 1889 – 1940. Rob Johnson was the manager the longest at 25 years. He purchased the building from Mr. Sweet’s daughter, Sophia Janeway in 1943. He lived there until his death in 1968. Two businessmen from Minneapolis, Mr. Bob Baker and Mr. Robert Van Houer purchased the hotel in 1969 to use as a hunting lodge. They renovated it by adding wall paneling, carpet and another bathroom.
In 1981 these hunters sold the Carroll House to the Fullerton Community Betterment Association for $1.00 on the condition the Betterment restore the building. Over the years improvements have been made including roof repair, new windows and the restoration of the ballroom through the removal of the third floor partitions. Now serving as an area hotel the Carroll House is recognized as a national historic landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in March, 1994.
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