Settled in the 1840s, Hudson has long reaped the benefits of its location on the western edge of fertile prairie land, positioned to become a wheat-milling center by the 1870s. It also sat on the St. Croix River, a major transportation route, and when railroads superseded river transport in the late nineteenth century, they converged here. But the huge Northwoods pineries nearby were the main engines of Hudson’s growth. Hudson sawmills began processing lumber in the early 1850s, when logs came down the river. Later, the railroads enabled the town to mill lumber year-round. Local residents who made modest fortunes in lumber built imposing homes along 3rd Street or here along 6th Street. Not coincidentally, most of these houses were made of locally milled wood.
The Fulton House is especially fine. Two stories tall, clad in clapboard, the Queen Anne house is characteristically asymmetrical with cross gables, porches, and a three-story tower. Varied window treatments include a Palladian window in the tower’s top stage. But the abundance of lathe-turned woodwork is most striking. With its spindlework, perforated railings, brackets, and the like, this house showcases Eastlake decoration. Bay windows receive special treatment, too, with a balconet over the west bay and a covered balcony with a spindle balustrade and frieze on the south bay. Spindlework spans the south-facing gable end, screening a lunette trimmed in a sunray pattern.