20 Collins Street: Summer Home of Alfred C. Fuller, the Original "Fuller Brush Man"
The home, located next to the Yarmouth County Museum, is a two-storey Italianate-style house of wood construction with several uncommon architectural elements. It features various examples of period furniture, glassware, silver and art. The Museum provides guided tours of the home during the summer months or 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 built around 1892 for Edward Cann, a prominent Yarmouth merchant who owned a popular clothing business on Main Street. Thomas and Eliza Bown bought the house in 1910 and lived in it until 1932. The Bowns deeded the property to their daughter, Susan, and her husband Judge Charles Pelton. Alfred C. Fuller, the Pelton's son-in-law, later bought the house but Susan Pelton continued to reside in it until her death in 1965, after which the Fullers used 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 after working for a brush maker, he decided that brushes could be made better with different designs for specific applications. He began designing and manufacturing his own brushes and established his company in 1906. By 1919, the company's profit was over one million dollars and it continued to grow over the years.
Alfred Fuller passed away in 1973, but his widow, Mary Primrose (Pelton) Fuller, continued to spend summers in the home until 1994.
Mrs. Fuller donated the home and 85 percent of its contents to the Yarmouth County Historical Society in 1996. The contents of the house included furniture, knick-knacks and other memorabilia. Mrs. Fuller died in 1997 in Hartford, Connecticut, but her gift to Yarmouth will keep her memory alive for many years to come.