Curt Fuller, Clifton, has been keeping himself occupied during the COVID-19 quarantine by researching the town of Clifton.
Curt’s love of history was inherited from his father, the late Neil Fuller, who taught history at West Side High School. Over the years, he has gleaned interesting bits of Clifton’s history from the journals and histories of his grandmother, Sadie Sant Fuller, as well as those of Lillian Perkins and Verena Howell Henderson. He has found others in already published local histories. But things got more interesting when he started a group on Facebook to help him gather what others knew. The group now has well over 300 members of current residents and former residents of Clifton.
They send in photographs and histories to share with the group. Among them have come photos he’d never seen before, and facts that added to the histories he already had.
With the help of his wife, Tawna, and their children, Kajsia, Abby, Jaden, Brody and Brigg, Curt has put together a “Clifton History Tour” which was made available to the public over the Memorial Day weekend. His girls helped him design the signs and the boys helped him put them up.
There are 15 sites to visit and each one is marked with a large sign explaining either who lived there previously or what business used to exist there. Persons interested in driving around to the sites can obtain a map ... and snacks ... at Papa Jay’s store in Clifton.
At one time, Clifton had a “Gerrard’s Candy Kitchen,” an “Opera House,” a “train station”, and a “Relief Society Building.” Of particular interest to many was the “Stringfellow Grave” at the Clifton Cemetery.
“Many of us had wondered about the story of the lonely grave on the south-east corner of the cemetery and it was so interesting to be able to read about it,” said one resident.
Fuller intended on taking the signs down, then putting as them up again on June 13 — Clifton’s Founders Day. But as he went to collect them, people taking the tour asked him to leave them up. He decided to leave them up until the Founder’s Day is over.
“I didn’t know how much interest there would be. It has been fun to hear people be excited about the signs,” said Curt.
He said the real impetus for actually making the signs was a concern that people are losing their connection to the early people of the town. “They are losing their connection with the past,” he said.
His favorite story was that of his grandmother, as a six-year-old, touching the Liberty Bell as it traveled through the county in 1915 on its way to the World Fair in San Franciso.
When he isn’t tracking town interesting pieces of history, Curt works in residential construction for his company, Altitude Construction Services.