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The Romain House has long been associated with some of the most prominent members of Fresno's business community. It was built in 1905 for Frank Romain, the founder of the Griffen-Skelly packing plant. Since that time, the home has been in almost constant use by some of the city's most important businesses. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  • Romain House

Frank Romain, a Canadian by birth, arrived in Fresno in 1887 and established the Griffen-Skelly packing plant. It began as a small operation, but grew rapidly, soon employing 500 employees. By some accounts, Griffen-Skelly was the first or one of the first packing plants in the area. In 1916, the company merged with others to become the California Packing Corporation.

The Romain home was built in 1905, an indication of how quickly Frank Romain became successful.  The home combines elements of the Prairie style with Greek Revival. Though the style was once quite common in the area, there are few remaining homes of a similar style. 

Following Frank Romain's death, the home was purchased by Michael Sullivan, Earl Blair, and Hugh Burns, who operated a funeral home there. All three men were heavily involved in Fresno's business community, and Hugh Burns served in the California legislature from 1939 to 1970. Sullivan, Burns, and Blair Funeral Home operated from 1929 to 1959. William Whitehurst, another prominent member of Fresno's business community, began leasing the property in 1959 and using it as a funeral home. 

The home is currently being used for office space. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 


The Romain House. A Guide to Historic Architecture in Fresno, CA. Accessed July 28, 2017. http://historicfresno.org/nrhp/romain.htm.