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Ulster American Folk Park

Samuel Fulton stone house

New World, map number 32

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Near the city of brotherly love

Samuel Fulton from Rathmelton emigrated to America in the 1720s and, like so many people from West Ulster, he settled in Donegal Springs, Pennsylvania about 100km west of Phildelphia.

Donegal Springs was then a remote frontier outpost and Samuel was able to acquire 309 acres of land. Using stones that he found on his land (a method used in Ulster), he built this house on top of a spring to ensure a supply of fresh water and to keep food fresh in the hot summers. The house and farm became known as Fulton’s Pleasure.

Samuel married Elizabeth Stewart with whom he had a daughter Mary and three sons James, John and Samuel Jr. The Fulton family owned livestock and grew crops such as wheat, flax and rye. Their diet would have included wild game and native fruits and vegetables. 

James became a trader and used to hitch his team of horses to the wagon and travel to Philadelphia where he would trade farm produce and animal pelts for molasses, sugar, rice, and cloth to sell to his neighbours back in Donegal Springs. The Fulton family network reached from the Philadelphia frontier all the way back to Rathmelton, as his cousins carried emigrants from Derry to Philadelphia in the 1760s and brought American produce to Ireland.

Samuel Fulton died in 1760 and farm passed to James. The Fulton family continued to occupy the land at East Donegal until 1778, when David Cook bought the farm.

From the bottom of the stairs, look up to the large loft area, used to store farm produce and goods for trading.