20 Collins Street: Summer Home of Alfred C. Fuller, the Original "Fuller Brush Man"
This Victorian home, located next to the Yarmouth County Museum, was the summer home of Mary Primrose (Pelton) Fuller and her husband, Alfred C. Fuller. Mr. Fuller was a Kings County native who moved to the USA at the age of 18 and became famous as the original Fuller Brush man and founder of the Fuller Brush Company in Hartford, Connecticut.
The home is a two-storey Italianate-style house of wood construction, which was built around 1892 and which has several uncommon architectural elements. It features various examples of period furniture, glassware, silver and art. The Society provides guided tours of the home during the summer months, and by appointment. In the backyard is a beautiful English rose garden that is carefully maintained by the Yarmouth Historical Society, and garden parties are sometimes held during the summer months.
History of the Pelton-Fuller House
The house was originally constructed around 1892 for Edward Cann, a prominent local Yarmouth merchant who owned a popular clothing business on Main Street in Yarmouth for many years. The house was purchased in 1910 by Thomas and Eliza Bown. Mr. Bown died in 1912 and Mrs. Bown lived in the home until her death in 1932. The Bowns deeded the property to their daughter, Susan, wife of Judge Charles Pelton, in March of 1938, just two months before Judge Pelton passed away. The property was again sold to Alfred C. Fuller, the Peltons' son-in-law. Although Mr. Fuller was owner of the home, Susan Pelton continued to reside here until her death in 1965, after which the Fullers continued to use it as a summer home.
Alfred C. Fuller was born in 1885 in Welsford, Kings County, NS. In 1903, at age 18, he went to New England, and some time after going to work for a brush maker, he decided that brushes could be made better and with different designs for specific applications. He began designing and manufacturing his own brushes, and set up his own company in 1906. By 1919, the company's profit was over one million dollars, and it continued to escalate over the years.
Alfred Fuller and Mary Pelton, a Yarmouth native, had married in 1932 and resided during their married life in West Hartford, Connecticut. They were frequent visitors to Yarmouth, visiting Mary Fuller's mother during the remainder of her life, and then as summer residents in the family home for many years. Alfred Fuller passed away in 1973, but his widow continued to spend summers here until 1994, when ill health precluded further visits.
In 1996, Mrs. Fuller donated the home and its contents to the Yarmouth County Historical Society. This very generous donation also included approximately 85% of the contents of the house, including furniture, knick-knacks and other memorabilia, as well as funding to refinish the exterior and update the heating system. Mrs. Fuller passed away on October 24, 1997 in Hartford, Connecticut, but her gift to Yarmouth will keep her memory alive for many years to come.
To see a 360 virtual tour of the Pelton-Fuller House, please click here.
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