The Fulton’s family have been stewards of their maple forest in Pakenham, Ontario for 180 years. The history of our present day farm is steeped in determination, hard work, the love of family tradition. Today our farm is run by Shirley Fulton-Deugo (4th Gen) and Scott Deugo (5th Gen) who proudly continue in their parent’s footsteps and actively train the next generation of owners.
1840 – The Beginning
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.
The 20th Century
In the 1940s, Leonard Fulton (3rd Gen) 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 1960s 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.
The 21st Century
Shirley, George and family continued to expand and improve the family business.
The sixth Generation of Fulton’s saw 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.
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 three adult children and granddaughter to the family. Al works behind the scene with his business expertise, advising on designs and innovative ideas.
Today, Shirley Deugo (4th Gen) and her son, Scott Deugo (5th Gen) continue to operate the farm, pancake house, and maple shoppe.
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.
The Next Generations – Double Triple Trouble
As children in the 1980’s, fifth generation Fulton’s, Lorraine, Scott and Pamela produced their own maple syrup under the name Triple Trouble.
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.