Alfred L. Gillen, known by all who knew him as ‘Alf’ Gillen,
was the son of Joseph Gillen who moved here from Nova
Scotia. Joseph settled on the East Ridge with his family and
engaged in farming.
On November 7, 1891, Alf married Mary E. Hutchinson, the
daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Hutchinson who lived on the
U.S.- Canadian Border at the North end of Mars Hill Mountain.
After living in Easton for a short period of time, Alf and Mary
moved back to East Ridge and bought the property that is now
owned by Harley York, just South of the East Ridge Baptist
Alf and Mary would have no children of their own but found
great joy in raising Mary’s niece from a young child to adult-
hood. After many years of farming, they retired to a small lot
located on Benjamin Street in Mars Hill.
In November of 1951, the Gillen’s celebrated their 60th year
of marriage. Open house was held in the afternoon & evening.
Miss Ruby Hutchinson cut and served an anniversary cake and
Mrs. Hudson Hutchinson had charge of the guest book. Over
100 guests called to extend congratulatory wishes.
Alf Gillen was a neighbor and friend of the Fulton family for
many years. He farmed for 50 years until his retirement in the
summer of 1947.
Mary Elizabeth Hutchinson was the daughter of Arthur
and Louise Hutchinson. She was one of 10 children.
Her siblings were Sycha, Orpha, Annie, George, James,
Matthew, Helen, Hudson and Hubert.
The Hutchinson family lived North of the Fulton home-
stead near the Roger Hawksley place situated on the
U.S. – Canadian border. The old well is boarded over
but remains as a reminder of it’s use over 100 years ago.
It is most likely that Mary and her siblings would have
hiked down over the hill and across the brook to attend
school at the old log school house that was referred to
as the R.M. Fulton School, District # 7.
It is not known by me as to how Mary Elizabeth met Alf
Gillen but the probable meeting would be during the
barn raisings’ and sociables of the area called the
Island. They were married in the Hutchinson home.
When Alf and Mary Gillen retired, they moved in town
and lived on Benjamin Street. As a child, I would have
walked to school and passed by their home many times.
How I wish that I would have been able to sit with them
and learn first hand about Robert M. Fulton whom they
knew and visited many times. (Rod Fulton)