Original Wagon Factory



Although the original wagon factory only has foundations remaining, we are going to historically restore this beautiful structure to its original state. Production of necesities were originally manufactured in this factory. 

Original Factory

The original Smithy (above) erected on Bakers Lookout by Peter Studebaker began the industrial revolution and the transportation industry in this country. Peter used advanced German technology producing cutlery at this location and taught and cross-trained a staff with the development of substantial construction supplies, nails, tools to hewn logs, hardware that kept logs together, forging steel for horse shoeing, making hardware for saddles and harnessing, barrels for food, hubs and shafts for the start of wagon manufacturing and wheels for mills.

To the east of Bakers Lookout ran a clear spring called Troup Run which allowed early colonists to water their horses and refill their water supply while, the smithy repaired horses shoes and checked to make sure wagon wheels and hubs were safe. This location became a crucial wagon repair and horse care and shoe stop. Troup run is a spring fed creek that stays remains 57 degrees year round and is not subject to freezing in winter which would have halted blade and other production.

Early structures of this size and construction were considered safe havens for colonial travelers.  So Bakers Lookout and the wagon factory were considered an early fort. Items made here also established the Indian Trading Post, west of the creek, allowing colonial pioneers to trade and barter supplies with local Indians.

This factory at Bakers Lookout survived several wars and made weapons.  Bakers Lookout and this region was highly recognized by George Washington, Braddock and Lee because of the wagon and horse services. Many relied on this location for supplies and rested there while waiting for repairs. The location of Conococheague Bridge became barrier to ambush enemies and provided an escape back to east.

Bakers Lookout with its blacksmithing entity necessitated the construction of tools and cutting equipment for local mills along the Conococheague creek to add to mass production, utilizing hydro-power to run equipment. The area was plentiful in oil shale, a necessity to fire forging equipment and to produce metal hubs and shafts to perfect long-lasting wagon parts. With his forging equipment he made the tooling equipment to perfect the construction of dove-tailed hewn logs and hardware to keep those logs together.

This was the beginning of more substantial construction of larger buildings and homes that helped build the founding of regional towns like Hagerstown, for his German friend, Jonathan Hager. Products were floated from this entity, down Conococheague creek to transport to other towns.

With railroad development, Hagerstown becoming the crossroads, products were shipped by land utilizing developed wagons of this entity. Peter Studebaker's technology of hewn log cutlery and hardware, manufactured in this factory, a large nail that evolved into the development of the railroad spike, holding railroad track to tie. This important contribution helped in developing the railroad and the wagon transportation industry. Broadfording Wagon Road built in 1747 carried heavy traffic to Bakers Lookout, and towards the west and services provided at Bakers Lookout were instrumental to settle the west. 

The above two pictures may be the way the early forge would have looked.  
The early wagon-factory needs to be reconstructed.