POST # 27: THE FULLER-SABINS STORE, MANSFIELD FOUR CORNERS.
It’s unknown when this house, later a store, was constructed. “A house, barn and woodshed” are first mentioned in a deed in 1849 when Joseph Cleaveland purchased the property. A typical New England cape, the house was likely built earlier in the century. It stood on the southeast corner of the intersection of Middle Turnpike (now Route 44) and what is now Route 195. It was diagonally across the intersection from the tavern.
In the late 1870s, Joseph Cleaveland Fuller purchased the house. He was the son of Daniel E. Fuller and grandson of Daniel, the tavern keeper. On his mother’s side, he was a descendant of Joseph Cleaveland, the original owner of the house. Joseph C. Fuller either added the north ell to the house for a store or converted a pre-existing ell for that purpose. During his ownership, the post office also re-located to this store.
Joseph’s son, Irving W. Fuller, sold the property to Elisha “Pete” Sabins in 1925. Pete Sabins operated his Red & White store for some twenty years, expanding it from the ell into the main body of the house. Pete was quite a character and his store became a popular gathering place in the community. As autos and trucks became more common, he added gas pumps in front of the store. This was the first gas station at Four Corners.
In 1946, Sabins sold the property to Elliott G. “Buster” Beebe, Lloyd V. Beebe and Royal E. Thompson, Jr. “Buster” Beebe operated the store for a short time. Then, in 1948, he had the building demolished and constructed the present commercial building on the site. This was the beginning of the commercial development of this busy intersection into what it has become today.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.