The “Studebaker Home” at 200 W King Street, was built in 1790. Carpenter, farmer, & minister David Studebaker (1741-1831) was the great uncle of the five brothers who became famous for producing the Studebaker automobiles.
In 1790, David moved his wife Magdelena Lehman (1746-1852) of Adams County & daughter Elizabeth (1771-1861) to Berlin (later renamed East Berlin) from nearby Paradise Township, in York County. A few years later, his son Samuel (1794-1837) was born.
Studebaker built this house of log & frame construction (left). The repurposed wooden clapboard siding & old rose head nails are still visible today. By 1820, the home included a brick two-story addition (right). While living here, Studebaker manufactured spokes for buggy & wagon wheels.
Discoveries, Restoration, & Awards
Doorways connecting the two sides of the home were rediscovered in 2007 during the home’s restoration by local restoration expert Luke Miller. Several artifacts have been found on the property over the years, including a bone, a spoon, possibly an arrowhead, a primitive tool, & old shoes found between the wall (a superstition to bring peace & luck).
The Studebaker Home received the 2009 Restoration Award by Historic Gettysburg – Adams County. The home now operates as a private museum.
The details in this post were pieced together from the East Berlin Historical Preservation Society’s website, independent research on the Studebaker family tree, and the historic photos (1960s) of this home are from The Wheels of Time II, by the East Berlin Founder’s Day Committee (2014).