It is here in 1802 where we bear witness to the humble beginnings of Hartland when a 16 year old young man from New Hampshire named James Fuller, Sr. followed a mere “spotted path” from the south in search of a plot of land he could call his own. He purchased the land and made his claim and began the task of building his lodgings in spite of the seemingly impossible odds against survival in what was nothing but wilderness. One wonders, as he felled the first of many trees to build his house, could he ever have expected some 212 years later, his descendants would still be living in this town he was the first to call home. Some of the other early settlers who soon joined young Fuller in this region included his parents as well as the families of Davis, Spearing, Whiting, Tucker and Bowley. Many other families soon came to this and other areas of Hartland and the foundations of a town were laid as they began building schools, meeting houses, businesses, churches and cemeteries.
Fuller settled adjacent to the original “County Road” that connected Norridgewock with Bangor, running East-West through Hartland, Palmyra, Newport, Stetson and onto Bangor. The road passed over Warren Hill and by the former “Warren Mansion” (eventually the Perry Furbush home). Fuller originally farmed the land, but eventually built what was to be Fuller’s Tavern at Fuller’s Corner in West Hartland. Located about 35 miles from Norridgewock, Fuller's Tavern became a Stage Coach Stop on the regular route and also served as an alternative location for Hartland Town Meetings. The County Road originally ran past the tavern and across Route 151 (Hartland-Pittsfield Road) at Davis Corner then crossed the Sebasticook River at a former bridge that disappeared in the floods of the 1930s. In 1970, the site of the old tavern was the location of Foster Brooks’ home, although the old cellar before that was a playground for the area children. Some of the timbers from original tavern structure were used to construct the Knights of Pythias Hall (now the Masonic Hall) on Outer Main Street. ( See Main Street Page)
The West Hartland area, which included the population at and around Fuller’s Corner, was a large and vital part of early Hartland affairs and business up until about 1862. This is when the industrialization along the river, beginning with the new Linn Woolen Mill, caused substantial growth in the Village luring many citizens from the outlying areas who were seeking work. West Hartland had its own post office, school and several businesses and had enjoyed a similar growth along with the Village and the North Hartland area. Each of these population centers also had their own burying grounds with the West Hartland location on James Fuller’s land which became known as Fullers Corner Cemetery. It began with the interment of Fuller's mother, Mary Fuller, in 1818 and includes many of his descendants. (See our Cemeteries Page)