The Fulton story begins in the early 1840s when Scottish immigrant John Fulton and his two brothers left East Kilbride, Scotland to begin a new life in rural Ontario, Canada.
The brothers settled on 400 acres of mixed forest that included thousands of sugar maple trees in Cedar Hill, near the quaint village of Pakenham and about 45 minutes west from the nation’s capital. Legend has it that the Fulton brothers learned the art of maple syrup making from First Nations people as well as other settlers who called the area home.
Many of the older trees—some more than 200 years old—have been tapped every year since the 1800s as successive generations continued the practice of maple syrup and sugar making.
In the 1940’s, Leonard Fulton, a third generation Fulton, and his wife Hazel inherited the family farm. Together, with Johnny, Leonard’s older brother, the couple farmed dairy cows and beef cattle, maple sap, and a small gravel pit. At this time, the farm was known as Fulton’s Bros.
At first the maple syrup and sugar produced was for family use only, but as the years went by the Fulton’s maple syrup made its way to Ottawa’s ByWard Market. As demand increased for the sweet sugary liquid, the Fulton’s started receiving requests from Canadians eager to have the product shipped to them. It wasn’t long before shipments of Fulton’s pure maple syrup were being sent across the country.
In 1969, Leonard built the first pancake house to serve homemade doughnuts, lemonade, and pancakes to visitors purchasing maple products at the Fulton farm. Visitors also delighted in tasting maple sugar candies, maple butter, maple brittle, and taffy rolled on snow.
Leonard and Hazel’s three children – John, Shirley, and Ross – also grew up helping in the sugar bush. John and Shirley both left the farm in the 1960's to pursue careers outside of the farm. Ross decided to take over the family farm before tragically drowning in 1980 at the age of 19. Upon his death, Shirley, her husband George Deugo, and their young family, moved back to the farm and took over the business before Leonard passed away in 1983. This is when the family decided to focus exclusively on maple production.
Hazel lived out her days in a nearby retirement home and faithfully dipped her bread in her favourite light (now graded as Amber) maple syrup every night at bed. She passed away peacefully in October 2002, leaving her family with many fond memories and treasured family photos.
Shirley, George and family continued to expand and improve the family business. In 2007, George Deugo passed away, which is when Scott took over his dad's role as the maple syrup producer and management of the farm.
In 2013, Shirley married Al Potvin and welcomed his 3 adult children and one granddaughter to the family. Al works behind the scene with his business expertise, advising on designs and innovative ideas.
Today, Shirley Deugo, a fourth generation Fulton, and her son, Scott Deugo continue to operate the historic Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush. Fulton's is made up of 400 acres of mixed forest, over 9 km of walking and Nordic trails, features a 120-seat restaurant, beautiful Maple Shoppe, Maple Sugar Camp (production facility) and Main Office.
Shirley's daughters, Lorraine and Pamela, remain involved with the family farm, helping when needed on site and in the background. They provide fresh eyes and are full of ideas.
Shirley and George also had nine grandchildren - 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters - all who have been great taste testers and are great quality control officers. The grandchildren happily help out on the farm and can be found doing many tasks, from bottling syrup to flipping pancakes.
“Every member of the family loves the farm, the people we host from all over the world, and more importantly, the art involved in making maple syrup,” says Shirley. “We invite you, your family, and friends to share in our family treasure.”
Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush has grown from a small personal production sugar camp to an international Canadian destination. Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, Fulton’s has just what you need. The facility and grounds are home to self-guided and group maple tours, schools, seniors, corporate retreats and family day trips during the traditional spring maple syrup season.
Other features include walking, hiking and skiing trails and an Online Store where you can buy maple gourmet, maple inspired spa products and gifts, and of course, Maple Syrup.
The Next Generation
As children in the 1980's, fifth generation Fulton’s, Lorraine, Scott and Pamela produced their own maple syrup under the name Triple Trouble.
Original Triple Trouble - 1980's to 2016
In 2016, 6th generation budding entrepreneurs, Parker, Tyson, and Logan Deugo, began to follow in their father`s footsteps and the Triple Trouble brand was reborn. These three “sap reduction specialists” are learning the art of maple syrup making from their dad, Scott Deugo. Parker, Chief Financial Officer, Tyson, Chief Marketing Officer and Logan, Operations Specialist, are producing and selling Triple Trouble Maple Syrup, made in a 2’ x 6’ wood fired evaporator during the spring harvest. During maple harvest, their maple syrup can be purchased in the sugar camp on weekends and holidays or in the Maple Shoppe the remainder of the year.