David M. and Lottie Fulmer House

Also known as: Max and Nellie Sells House, Maxsells Restaurant
209 Central Ave. Florence, Wisconsin

Prairie Style house with well preserved architectural details


Front Elevation

Photo by National Park Service

View this photo at nps.gov



"The two-story-tall, rectilinear plan David M. and Lottie Fulmer house is a very fine, free-standing, stucco-clad, Prairie School style single family residence that is set back on a large parcel in the town of Florence that occupies an entire city block on the shore of Fisher Lake. 1 This house was built in 1899 for David M. Fulmer, who was the president of the D. M. Fulmer Lumber Co., which in 1899 was one of the largest of the several logging operations and saw mills that had been a major factor in the creation of Florence County and its subsequent growth.

Fulmer's substantial new house was one of the largest houses in the town when it was built but he lived there only until 1903, and then sold it to Florence County attorney Max Sells, who lived there until his death in 1935. His widow, Nellie Sells, continued to occupy the house until her death in 193 7. The house was subsequently inherited by their daughter, Verle E. Sells, who was the first woman to serve as a circuit court judge in Wisconsin and who died in office in 1940. The house then passed through several hands and it was also used as a nursing home for several years before being purchased by the current owners, who have restored it and now run it as a restaurant and inn. Fortunately, the house was in largely original condition when the current owners purchased it and they have done very little to change it, except only what has been necessary in terms of upgrading appliances and utilities and repairing the historic fabric of the house. As a result, the Fulmer house is still highly intact and its architectural integrity has been preserved by the high standard of maintenance that it receives…

…The Fulmer house was built in 1899 and no information has yet been found about either the designer of the house or about its builder. David Fulmer owned logging, lumber milling, and shingle and planing mill operations in Florence County and the nature of his business and his extensive travels on its behalf would most likely have kept him aware of current trends in architecture, which perhaps accounts for his choice of an early Prairie School design for his house."

~Excerpts from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
National Park Service, 3/21/2014


19th Century (37,694)
Built 1899 (556)
Built during 1890s (7,619)
Florence County, Wisconsin (4)
House (27,581)
Wisconsin (2,612)

Update Log 

  • September 6, 2014: Added by J.R. Manning