“From said Square to the Palmyra Town Line going south; Elm Street.”
Currently, no maps of Hartland detailing the locations of homes, businesses and merchants before 1860 have been discovered. Various documents provide us with enough information to know many existed in its early years of settlement, but most of the specific details of when they were built or by whom remain unknown. The following is based on our best interpretation of known maps, town records, census data, historical book references, photos, artifacts and family genealogical information. Updates will be made as new information is discovered.
The area which became Elm Street was also originally part of St. Albans when it was first purchased in 1799 by Dr. John Warren and later settled by William Moor in 1802. It is unknown exactly when Elm Street as we know it came to be built but according to the 1911-1912 East Somerset County Register at least part of the original road’s origins from Main Street ran closer along the banks of the Sebasticook River before joining back to its current route.
The Register also notes William Moor’s original lot ran about a mile along both sides of the river from the center of the Village encompassing the Elm Street area. It was likely part of the first connecting road system commissioned by Dr. Warren around 1804 to connect his 4 Townships of Hartland, Palmyra, St. Albans and Corinna which were constructed under the guidance of Samuel Lancey of Palmyra.
In 1827, Horace M. Stewart built the Hartland House on Elm Street serving as a hotel and tavern including passengers traveling along the Bangor to Norridgewock Stage Coach Route. A large livery stable to service the horse teams was built to the side of the building.
Hartland House – c1870
The Baptist Church was built in 1842 on the corner of Elm Street & Academy Street. Originally associated with the St Albans Baptist Church, its members voted to become independent in 1847 and formerly organized as the Hartland Baptist Church.
Baptist Church – c1877
An 1846 agreement set the Hartland-St Albans Town Line at its current boundaries and the area of Elm Street officially became part of Hartland.
Hartland Village – 1860
James Fuller, Jr (1819-1895) moved from West Hartland into the Village sometime in the 1840s following his purchase of a large tract of land along Elm Street. His personal homestead included several large barns and out buildings. Fuller purchased the former Sewell Prescott, Jr store in Warren Squareand opened a general store. He was later joined in business by Andrew H. Buck operating as the Fuller-Buck General Store.
Following James’ death in 1895, his daughter Dr. Sarah Jennie Fuller resided at the residence until her death in 1931. Jennie was joined at the house by her recently widowed younger sister Harriet Underwood (Fuller) Baker in 1902.
Former James Fuller, Jr Residence – c1940
An edited original stereoscopic photograph taken from the Baptist Church Steeple around 1877 affords this bird’s eye view of Elm Street. The first set of buildings on the left is James Fuller, Jr’s homestead and his expansive tract of land. To the right is the Hartland House and its Livery Stable followed by John J. Morrill’s homestead and several others houses. At the time, John Morrill operated the J. J. Morrill Axe Manufacturing Company on Main Street.
Elm Street from the Baptist Church Steeple – c1877
The number of houses was still fairly small by 1883 with James Fuller, Jr’s children occupying several of them on his properties.
Hartland Village – 1883
At the 1897 Town Meeting, citizens of Hartland voted to accept an updated list of names for the existing streets in the Village including, “From said square to the Palmyra Town Line going south; Elm Street.”
Henry Clay Fuller and Mary Isabelle Linn married in 1874 and first lived at his Uncle Josiah Fuller’s former house on Elm Street as noted on the 1883 map above. Soon after 1896, they built their new home across the street which became known locally as the “Fuller Mansion”. Henry Fuller (1854-1903) is a son of James Fuller, Jr & Sarah Underwood. Mary Linn (1856-1933) is a daughter of Archibald Linn & Grace Wilson. Henry became the President of the newly formed Linn Manufacturing Company upon the death of Archibald Linn in 1889.
Fuller Mansion – c1905
In 1901, Henry Fuller and his son-in-law George Teel Osborne, who married his daughter Grace Wilson Fuller, expanded operations of the Linn Manufacturing Company with a new business called the “Fuller-Osborne Company”. The new company had several business interests including real estate, newspaper printing, clothing production and a greenhouse operation on Elm Street built next to the Fuller Mansion known as “Scotch Thistle Greenhouses”.
Scotch Thistle Greenhouse located between Fuller Mansion & Dr. Charles Moulton’s Residence
Several newspaper articles from The Pittsfield Advertiser chronicled the new greenhouse’s timeline:
1901 – “The new greenhouse recently completed by Henry C. Fuller is a fine addition to the business enterprise and will be a great convenience to the people of Hartland and vicinity as heretofore they have had to depend upon getting their cut flowers, etc., from out of town. It is 70 x 22 feet with spacious wings, and is fitted with all the necessary heaters, etc., to get the very best results at all times of year from the plants. He has bought a large number of plants for it, and the same have been set out for three or four weeks. He has a young man in charge who came from Scotland and one who thoroughly understands the business. Mr. Fuller thinks now that he will build another house of the same size next year and that he will have quite a business in this particular line.”
1902 – “The Scotch Thistle Greenhouses, which have been built by the Fuller-Osborne Company in this village this season are now completed and the growing of flowers of all kinds is progressing finely. The owners of this new enterprise announce that they are now ready to supply anything in this line at short notice. The houses are under the charge of a florist who has had much experience in this work and he knows how to produce the daintiest and sweetest flowers imaginable.”
1902 – “A particularly beautiful display of flowers may be seen at any time now at the Scotch Thistle Greenhouses. The business is growing rapidly, orders being shipped all over the state. The display of chrysanthemums is especially fine. George T. Osborne has our thanks for a beautiful bunch of roses which were sent from the Scotch Thistle Green Houses at Hartland. Mr. Osborne tells us that the greenhouses, which have been built at that place this season, are now completed and that flowers of all kinds can be furnished customers at short notice.”
Soon after they built the greenhouse, Henry Clay Fuller was struck by Tuberculosis and passed away on March 11, 1903 at the age of 43 years old at Boston City Hospital where he gone for advanced treatment. The Scotch Thistle Greenhouse continued operations overseen by George Osborne, himself widowed in 1901. It operated as late as 1916 before it was closed and removed from the site by 1917.
A later article provided a detailed description of the greenhouse buildings and operations:
1904 – “The Scotch Thistle Conservatories on Elm Street, in this village, are at present presenting a most beautiful appearance, and on entering the finely equipped office with ice closets connected, and passing through the different houses, one of the best and well cared for conservatories in the State is seen. The whole area of glass is 5000 feet and this is divided into four houses, the largest being 100 x 25 feet, and others 75 x 75 feet, 45 x 15 feet and 75 x 8 feet, respectively.
From the office the first department is devoted largely to pinks, about 200 Thomas Lawson pinks of unusually large size, the Queen white pink which are only two years old, the variegated Mrs. Bratt, Governor Crane and the bright red Estelle pink are in bloom. In this department are also a bed of about 2000 geraniums already to be potted. Florist Abraham will begin propagating pinks for next season. There are also a whole lot of silver tipped geraniums, just out of sand, in a thrifty condition.
The second department of this house is devoted to a large bed of calla lilies, budding and in bloom, smilax, asparagus, and a variety of potted plants. Connected with this is the work stop and boiler, steam heat being required.
In the 75 x 8 feet house are two departments, one devoted to palms, ferns and begonias, and the other is the violet room, and contains a bed of flowering violets, 45 x 3 feet while the 45 x 15 feet lean-too out the west end is used for the bedding of plants. Easter bulbs, etc., which will be ready to bloom at Easter.
In the 15 x 25 feet house, the first department is filled with pinks of the Lawson, Fenn and various other varieties. The second department is perhaps the handsomest and rarest room, as this contains the roses for which the Scotch Thistle Conservatories are noted. About 400 plants of the bride and bridesmaid roses are in bloom and the flowers are of huge size. This is one of the best rose houses in Maine and the crop for this year is unusually good. A bouquet of 75 pinks and white roses was on display and were some of the most beautiful specimens ever grown. Large shipments of these rare flowers are made every week to the conservatories in Dover, Dexter and Pittsfield.
Florist Fred H. Abraham has had many years’ experience in this work, having been previously connected with greenhouses in England and some of the best conservatories in Massachusetts. He thoroughly understands his work, as an hour spent in the different rooms connected with his labors testifies, and he takes great care in promptly executing all orders given him.”
Following Henry’s death, Mary remained at the house raising their youngest surviving son Elmer Linn Fuller along with her son-in-law George Osborne and his mother Anna Foster (Teel) Osborne. George remarried in 1910 and returned to his native state of Massachusetts by 1920.
Fuller Mansion with Scotch Thistle Greenhouse
Mary remained at the house until the early 1930s when illness forced her to move to Quincy, Massachusetts to live with her son James Elmo Fuller and his wife Bertha Cherrington and their family. Mary passed away in Quincy in 1933 and is interred with Henry at Pine Grove Cemetery.
Following Mary’s death, James & Bertha Fuller moved into the house and were listed as the owners on the 1943 map. James passed away in 1947 and Bertha remained in the house for the next few years. Many Hartland locals recall Bertha giving piano lessons on the pair of Grand Pianos she had in the 2 front rooms.
Bertha took a very bad fall in 1959 when she was about 76 years old and was confined to a nursing home in Skowhegan until her death in 1968. In January of 1960, she transferred ownership of the house to her son, retired U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier-General Donald Walker Fuller, Sr who resided in Philadelphia at the time.
In April of 1962, Donald sold the Fuller Mansion to Linwood & Marion (Ireland) Vanadestine who converted into a boarding home for the mentally challenged. After a new exterior coat of paint, the house was often referred to locally as the “Pink Mansion” due to its new vibrant color.
It was purchased by Connie (Bunker) Nelson-Brown about 1978 who continued its use as a boarding home operating as The Ensign Boarding Home for many years.
Former Fuller Mansion as The Ensign Boarding Home – 1987
Dr. Charles A. Moulton established the St Albans & Hartland Telephone Company in 1893 in St Albans before moving to Hartland where he eventually built his new home and telephone business location on Elm Street. The company incorporated as the Hartland & St. Albans Telephone Company in 1903.
Hartland & St. Albans Telephone Company Directory – 1908
In 1913, D. Whiting & Son Creamery opened on Elm Street operating until about 1920 when it was sold and became the Hartland Co-Operative Creamery managed by Frank McCormack in 1922. The creamery building sat back off Elm Street across the street from the Fuller Mansion.
Elm Street from Warren Square
Edmond Lee Fuller (1865-1930) and his 2nd wife Lillian Adelaide Clark moved into their Elm Street home by 1920 with their daughter Angilee Lillian Fuller. Following Edmond’s death, Angilee and her newly wedded husband Harold Emery Seekins moved to St Albans with their infant son Edmond Harold Seekins and were joined there by Lillian. The house was purchased soon after by Owen Rowe and his wife Beulah Lancaster.
Edmond Lee Fuller Residence
Edmond Lee Fuller Residence
By 1943, several new houses had been built along Elm Street.
Hartland Village – Elm Street – 1943
Numerous schoolhouses were located throughout the Village, North Hartland and West Hartland for students attending Primary through 8th Grade in the Hartland School System since its early settlement. As many as 14 separate school districts which existed over the decades were eventually funneled down into a handful of rural schoolhouses in the early 1910s before the last standing rural school at Fuller’s Corner was closed in 1942 and students from every region of Hartland attended school in the Village.
Click the link below for a complete history of Hartland Common Schools
Overcrowding had been an ongoing issue for the Hartland School Department for many years. The eventual closure of all its rural schools further intensified the ongoing need for a larger, dedicated schoolhouse for its elementary grade students.
In 1949, the citizens of Hartland voted to build a new schoolhouse and in April of 1950 construction began on the Hartland Consolidated School. The 7 acre lot was purchased from the Estate of Dr. Jennie Fuller which had formerly been owned by her father, James Fuller, Jr.
Building the Hartland Consolidated School – 1950
The new Hartland Consolidated School served Primary through Grade 8 area students for the next 18 years until Nokomis Regional High School opened in 1968. With its high school grade students now attending Nokomis, 7th & 8th Graders began attending school at the former Hartland Academy renamed as Hartland Junior High School while the Hartland Consolidated School housed Primary through 6th Grade students.
Hartland Consolidated School – Primary to Grade 8
In the late 1990s, a large addition was built onto the rear of the building which included a new multi-purpose gymnasium, classrooms and library. Along with town and state funding, numerous private donations were made including a sizable donation which was acknowledged by its namesake as the Irving Tanning Community Center.
Irving Tanning Community Center Sign
Following the opening of a new area middle school in 2002, Hartland Consolidated School served only Primary through Grade 4 students.
Somerset Valley Middle School – Blake Street – Grade 5 to Grade 8 – 2002
Hartland Consolidated School closed its doors as an educational facility after plans to build a new Nokomis Regional High/Middle School complex were approved in 2017. The students at Hartland Consolidated School were moved to the middle school building and once the new Nokomis complex opened in 2019 Somerset Valley Middle School was renamed as Somerset Elementary School for Primary through Grade 4.
Somerset Elementary School – Primary to Grade 4 – Blake Street – 2019
Former Hartland Consolidated School – 2019 (Photo courtesy of Will Bunker Photography)