Interview with Anna Mae Fullerton
Anna Mae Fullerton is one of my favorite clients. I have been fortunate to sell two houses for her. She is a women of many talents. In her younger years, she was a professional model. Later she became a well known local dress designer and interior decorator. A week before she moved out of her Essex house, I had a chance to interview her for the blog and to share a cup of tea.
How long have you lived on Cape Ann?
I moved to Cape Ann in 1954. I bought a dilapidated house on the Annisquam River. It was built right after the Civil War. It was haunted.
How many homes have you owned here?
I owned the Annisquam River house, then I built a Tudor out on Mussel Point. That house had views of Norman’s Woe. After that I bought a marvelous antique out on Coles Island where I lived for 26 years. I shared the house with Daisy. Her full name was Daisy Huke. She was a miniature brown Sicilian donkey and I bought her in 1960.
You seem to gravitate toward houses with barns.
I love barns. I love barns, animals, nature, and space. I’d live in one if I could. The barn at 22 Main Street is one of the reasons why I bought that house. I turned it into part of the living space.
What are your renovation secrets?
My secret is to look beyond what every one else sees. I look at the possibilities. I look at what a property ‘used’ to be. I think that it is important to preserve the history of a property.
How would you describe your style?
It is easy. I never buy a house that doesn’t have a heart and soul. The house speaks and I follow.
What will you miss most about the North Shore?
I am going to miss the ocean and the little towns. I love roaming in and out of the little shops. I am really going to miss walking to The Village Restaurant for lunch. Their baked shrimp is heavenly.
What makes a house a home?
People for one. People and history. I like a house to be cozy – not stark. There is something about an old house. It either makes you feel welcome or it doesn’t.
What drew you to 22 Main Street.
Essex is a sweet little village. People are very friendly. I love the cemetery that abuts the property. I love the barn and I love the way that the house flows into it.
What is always in your refrigerator?
Milk, fruit, and a good bread….and leftovers from The Village, always.
What is your next project?
I am buying my dream farmhouse in Maine. It is on 21 acres and it has a pond and a cemetery. The barn is gorgeous. I can’t wait to get started.