James Gulland was born in Lundin Mill on 11 February 1863 to Janet Adam. Attending the birth was midwife Margaret Bethune, who recorded the event in her register. It was unmarried Janet's first child and the following year John Gulland was recognised legally as the father. James was brought up with the Adam family and In his teens he started work as an apprentice tailor. There were several tailors established in Largo at the time and quite a few young lads were engaged as apprentices.
James stuck with the profession and at the time of the 1891 census was living and working in St Andrews as a journeyman tailor. It was there that he met Elizabeth May Harding, who he married on 3 January 1894. They were married at Largo Place by Rev. William Pulford of Largo Baptist Church. Later that year, on 18 October, they had a daughter, Rose Adele Gulland. However, the following year Elizabeth died suddenly (reported below in the St Andrews Citizen of 9 Nov 1895) leaving James a widower with an infant child.
The 1901 census finds James and Emma, plus six-year-old Rose, living above the Leven Road shop. James Gulland was described as 'Tailor and Draper' and his wife Emma was 'Tailor's Wife and Shop Assistant (Drapery)'. This suggests that they were working in the shop as a team. The role of 'tailor' was a skilled one, involving making, altering and repairing clothes, while the role of 'draper' centres around selling clothes, cloth and haberdashery. Adverts for their shop show that they also sold fancy goods and postcards (in other words a range of items that would appeal to summer visitors). Their shop and upstairs home can be partially seen on the extreme right of the postcard image below (shortly after completion) to the right of Somerville's. In 1903, the Gullands' daughter Louisa May was born.
The shop seemed to thrive over the years that followed in the growing village of Lundin Links. Above is an advert for the 1901 sale (7 March Leven Advertiser). Gulland continued to own Millburnlea and rented the shop there to fruiterer Peter Smith. Over the years, James Gulland was an active member of Largo Baptist Church, where he was a deacon and the Superintendent of the Sabbath School. He also was part of the 'Pleasant Sunday Afternoon' or P.S.A. Brotherhood attached to the Church. This movement originated in 1875 and spread throughout the country - its purpose to gather people together for spiritual objectives on Sunday afternoons. The Largo P.S.A. attracted attendances of up to 100 during the first decade of the last century and Mr Gulland was a regular speaker.