LOST MANSFIELD # 26: THE FULLER-LYON STORE, MANSFIELD FOUR CORNERS
This small store stood directly across the road from Roger Gurley’s Tavern, later the Fuller Tavern. It was located where the CVS Pharmacy is today. It was built some time before 1809 when Warham Dexter sold the property to Dr. Roger Waldo and Capt. Simeon Allen. The deed refers to it as a trader’s store.
Just a short distance to its west stood the toll station for the Boston or Middle Turnpike. It was one of four that collected tolls along the portion of the turnpike that ran from Hartford to the Massachusetts border. Tolls were collected up to 1879. Today the toll keeper’s desk is preserved at the Mansfield Historical Society’s museum.
In 1827 Daniel Fuller, then the tavern keeper, purchased the store from Sullivan Harkness. He conveyed it to his son, Samuel D. Fuller, in 1841. Samuel operated the store until his death in 1905 and also managed the post office after it was relocated there in 1852.
The store was a very simple building with vertical plank siding, but during the mid-nineteenth century, its porch was supported by elegant fluted columns. These had been salvaged from the (second) North Mansfield meetinghouse, demolished in 1848 when Edwin Fitch constructed the third church on the site. The columns had originally held up the gallery within the church. They had rotted away and been replaced by the time the photograph below was taken in the early 1900s.
Following Samuel Fuller’s death, his daughter sold the store to Roland Squires. There was a succession of four owners between 1905 and 1930. During the early years of this period, L. L. Lyon rented the store and operated it. The building was demolished around the 1940s when redevelopment of the Mansfield Four Corners area began. Throughout its long existence, it had served not only as a general store and post office, but also as a popular gathering place for locals.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.