"The Martin House", known for many years as the "House on the Hill," was built in 1855. It always enjoyed a prominent place in Fulton because of its location and the people who lived here for 150 years. In 1998, it assumed a new role as the Fulton Museum when Maxine and Leonard Martin bequeathed their home to the City of Fulton to be used as a museum/community center and now enjoys a prominent place in the community with artifacts and historical treasures displayed here.
The Wayne Bastian Memorial Resource Room is a treasure trove of written and pictorial resources, such as family genealogy information (over 60,000 names of Dutch and Irish ancestry in the database), county plat books, Whiteside County history books, Fulton City records, cemetery records, microfilm reader/printer is also available. Members of the Fulton Historical Society will research or provide assistance to interested persons.
The ten-room museum has displays of products manufactured in local industries. Toys manufactured at the Patent Novelty Company are of special interest to children who visit.
A railroad room features artifacts and photos of the three major railroad companies that configured here in Fulton: the Chicago & Northwestern, the Milwaukee Line, and the C.B. & Q. President Ronald Reagan's parents were born, grew up, and married here. A Reagan Room focuses on the Reagan presence here in Fulton. Uniforms, medals, photos, and other memorabilia can be viewed in the military room.
Today, the home is owned by the City of Fulton and maintained by the Fulton Historical Society from funds donated to the city by Leonard and Maxine Martin.
Museum features: leaded glass windows, walnut bench seating, walnut staircase, Fulton memorabilia collection, Ronald Reagan and Lincoln Highway rooms, extensive photo collection of Fulton and more.
Eight programs on researched local history are presented each year. The Martin House is being inducted into the National Historical Registry in September 2015.