Fike-Chamberlain House

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Fike-Chamberlain House
General information
Type Saltbox house
Address 8100 West Old Lincoln Way
Town or city Wooster, Ohio
Country USA
Completed 1830s?
Relocated 1944
Renovated 1944-1946

Comprehensive History

In 1814, Joseph Eichar purchased a 640-acre tract (Section 5, Township 19, Range 14) along the state road (later known as the Lincoln Highway) in Plain Township. In 1819, he assigned the Southeast and Southwest Quarters of the tracts to Robert and Elizabeth Maxwell. Maxwell deeded his 320 acres to Jacob and Anne Stair in June 1828, and on the same day (June 18), he deeded 160 of the acres (the Southeast Quarter) to John and Susannah Fike. (The deed was not recorded at the Land Office in Wooster until 1833.)

Fike began building a one-and-a-half-story saltbox house on the property, set on an 18-foot square footprint with a six-foot wide porch on the front of the house with a trap door at one end over the steps, leading into a basement. The house was made of "hand-hewn timber framing with sun-dried brick laid between the studding from the floor up to the wainscoting."[1] Fike and his son, John II, also built a barn, a smoke house, a chicken house, and an outdoor toilet in later years. When John's wife Susannah died in 1831, he selected a spot for a cemetery on the south 50 acres of the farm.

In 1851, John Fike remarried in Ashland County, where he may have moved by then. His son John II had married Susannah Showalter in 1842, and in 1856 he bought 62.2 acres of his father's farm for $2368.00. (At the same time, Fike Sr. sold 40 acres on the east side of his property to John Mellinger.) John II raised his family there, and his son John III (and his wife Martha Houser) stayed on the farm to help his father, taking over ownership after his father's death. John III and Martha lived there until 1926, when he sold the farm to William Martin. John died in 1931 and Martha in 1935.

In 1944, Verne and Georgianna Chamberlain, who lived nearby, purchased the house for $150 and had it moved to their own farm. At the time of purchase, Georgianna noted, "I saw only the broken windows, floor that had rotted away, and partitions of boards covered with roofing paper and layer and layer of wallpaper, but Verne saw the hand-hewn construction and historical value worth preserving."[2] They arranged to have a basement dug for the house, and the highway was closed and power lines taken down for the house's move to its new location. They reversed the layout of the house, moving the old front of the house (and the porch) to the back of its new site. The moving cost $288.55.[3]

The Chamberlains made many renovations, including removing chestnut board partitions and reusing some for shelving, replacing the stairs, removing old siding and applying new oak sheeting, replacing windows, and much more. They moved into the house on May 1, 1946. In 1966, they decided to enlarge the house with a 18-foot square family room attached to the side of the house as well as a two-car garage. As Verne's health declined in the 1980s, they sold the farm and house to their grandson David, and in 1995, Verne Chamberlain died and his ashes were interred in the small family cemetery established by John Fike for his wife Susannah.

In 1996, the farm was sold out of the Chamberlain family.

The house was designated as a Pioneer House in the 1970s.


  • 1814: Joseph Eichar purchases the land
  • 1819: Deed transferred to Robert Maxwell
  • 1828: Deed transferred to Jacob Stair, who then split the property with John Fike
  • 1830s: John Fike builds house
  • 1856: John Fike sells house to son John II
  • 1926: House sold to William Martin
  • 1944: House sold to Verne and Georgianna Chamberlain and moved to current location
  • 1946: Renovations completed by Chamberlains
  • 1980s: House sold to Chamberlains' grandson David
  • 1996?: House sold


  • John Fike
  • John Fike II
  • John Fike III
  • William Martin
  • Verne and Georgianna Chamberlain
  • David Chamberlain

Historical documents

Newspaper articles



Wayne County Recorder Property Transfers


  1. "The History of the Land" by Georgianna Chamberlain, p.3
  2. "Our Old House" by Georgianna Chamberlain, p.4
  3. "Our Old House," p.7