Over the course of their marriage, David and Stella Fulton have gutted and rehabilitated six homes. “We always lived in old homes where things didn’t work,” Stella says. When they returned to Northeast Ohio in 2002 after two decades out of state, it was time to consider new construction.
Still, they did check out one Gates Mills beauty. Built in 1832 as a modest farmhouse, it is the oldest home on our list. “We walked into this house,” Stella says, her mind going back to the moment. “My gosh, this house is in beautiful condition.”
Set on 4.5 acres and overlooking a pond, the home had been added onto at least twice, including a master bedroom, mudroom and sunroom on the first floor. Standing in the core of the home, Bob points out the original kitchen, about the size of a large closet. The current dining room, large enough to easily seat 16, was probably the main living space. The room features a four-wall mural of Gates Mills.
Upstairs, narrow hallways lead to tiny bedrooms with sloped ceilings and dormers that make it feel like a dollhouse. It’s perfect for visiting grandchildren — as is the outdoor pool, the Fultons’ only significant addition to the property.
Joseph Leuty, who came to Gates Mills from Yorkshire, England, is thought to have lived in a log cabin before building the farmhouse. He is one of 60 or so of the village’s early settlers.