LOST MANSFIELD # 25: THE FULLER TAVERN, MANSFIELD FOUR CORNERS
This tavern was built by Roger Gurley sometime between 1790 and 1804. He chose an ideal location for his enterprise. It was located at northwest corner of the crossing of three major routes – the Boston or Middle Turnpike and the Tolland-Mansfield Turnpike that joined nearby with the Mansfield-Windham Turnpike. Today this area is the intersection of Route 195 and Middle Turnpike (Route 44). In the early nineteenth century, as today, this was a heavily trafficked area and the tavern provided a convenient place for travelers to stop for rest and refreshment. In 1808, Mansfield’s first post office was also established in this building, with Roger Gurley serving as the postmaster.
The tavern was a large, simple structure with sixteen rooms and 12 fireplaces. In the mid-1800s, the exterior was embellished with some Greek revival elements. A columned portico entrance was added as well as corner pilasters that oddly terminate well short of the roof eaves.
Sometime after 1808, Roger Gurley sold the tavern to Daniel Fuller (1786 -1883), who operated it through the remainder of his long life. The Fuller family owned the property into the early years of the 20th century. In the 1920s, Louis Schlehofer and his family lived there and also operated a meat and grocery store in part of the building. Later in the century, the old tavern was divided into rental apartments and it gradually fell into disrepair. It was demolished in 1959/60.
This series is made possible by a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Inc.