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Lark, at 17 Lincoln Square, is located on lot 81, one of the original 210 lots developed by James Gettys in 1785.
James Gettys (1759 – 1815) bought 116 acres of land from his father Samuel and in 1785-1786 laid out a town of 210 lots which he called Gettysburg. On February 18th, 1795 merchant Alexander Irvine bought lot 81 from James and Mary Gettys for 3 pounds and 15 shillings (about $10). In 1799 Irvine built a 2 story store there.
After moving to Baltimore, he sold the property on August 5th 1807 to another merchant, Walter Smith for 750 pounds. In 1801 Smith had been elected the fourth Adams County Commissioner. In 1808-1810 Smith built a two story brick federal style house on Lot 81. It fronted the ‘Diamond’ as the square was then called.
Smith and his heirs retained the property for 61 years until it was sold to the Gettysburg Methodist Church in 1868. The church then resold lot 81 to merchant William Boyer in 1870 who ran a grocery store there and rented out parts to W.H. Tipton’s Photographic Gallery and Samuel Faber’s Cigar Store.
On March 4th, 1885 Merchant Amos Eckert (1844-1924) bought lot 81 from Boyer for $9,500. He tore down the original buildings and built his residence and Eckert’s Hats, Shoes and Mens Furnishings. Much of what remains today is Eckert’s residence. The property remained in the hands of the Eckert family until 1946. There were two major renovations; in 1909 a large one story brick warehouse and office were added to house the Gettysburg Times and in 1929 the warehouse was further expanded to house Raymond’s Furniture. Lot 81 remained with Herbert Raymond until 1972 when it was sold to a Maryland corporation which rented to various businesses including a thrift store, a design shop, offices, and a health club.
In April 2001 Lot 81 was purchased by Helen Hauser and her three daughters Hannah, Jane, and Melinda. Extensive renovations were done to the property, and most of the original structure of the 1885 Amos Eckert home, certain foundations from the 1799 Alexander Irvine and 1808 Walter Smith Homes and all of the additions from 1912 and 1929.