Posted: Feb 24, 2013 9:08 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Feb 24, 2013 11:32 PM
ROCKPORT FULTON - The historical Fulton Mansion is closing it's doors for the first time in several years for some much needed repairs.
The Fulton Mansion was built by George Fulton in the year 1874. After returning to the Coastal Bend, Fulton included several innovative designs for the massive home, like indoor plumbing and a central heating system.
"So this is the laundry room where they had a clothes drying rack. Where it was heated by the furnace and so you could hang lots of wet clothes on the line and then you could push this in, to where it was warmed and heated by the furnace," said Marsha Hendrix, the Site Manager For the Fulton Mansion.
Since then, time has been hard on the historic home. Decayed by age and the wet weather we see here in South Texas, the home's foundation has begun to crumble and signs of deterioration are becoming more obvious.
"You can really see some of the structural issues that are going on with the house. There are original iron I-beams that run through here and they have rusted away now to the point that there's a lot of movement and shifting in the house and it's causing a lot of issues," Marsha said.
So the Fulton Mansion is closing it's doors to begin a year-long restoration to bring life back to this slice of South Texan history.
After the State awarded the Mansion a bond to help with repairs, organizers say they are still half a million dollars short of the amount they need to finish the project.
They hope that generous donations from visitors and fundraisers will help make up for the lacking funds.
"We have donation boxes and we also have membership brochures. Because this year, when people join to be a friend of the Fulton Mansion, their membership is going to go toward the restoration," said Hendrix.
Workers will begin packing the antiques in the house Monday morning, to prepare for the work that needs to be done inside and out.
All in hopes of restoring this majestic mansion back to it's former glory.
Even though visitors won't be able to go inside the mansion for at least a year, you can still check out the Education and History Center right behind it to learn more about George Fulton and what it was like in Victorian era South Texas.
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