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Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania

The Gemberling - Rex House
The Gemberling - Rex House
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Coordinates: 40°17′42″N 76°17′43″W / 40.29500°N 76.29528°W / 40.29500; -76.29528Coordinates: 40°17′42″N 76°17′43″W / 40.29500°N 76.29528°W / 40.29500; -76.29528
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lebanon
Township Heidelberg
 • Total 2.68 sq mi (6.95 km2)
 • Land 2.68 sq mi (6.95 km2)
585 ft (178 m)
 • Total 941
 • Density 350/sq mi (135.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 717 Exchange: 949
FIPS code 42-68144
GNIS feature ID 1214011

Schaefferstown (Pennsylvania German: Schaefferschteddel) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Heidelberg Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 941 at the 2010 census.


Ancient and historic landmarks in the Lebanon Valley (1895) (14596544728)
Watering trough in Schaefferstown, 1895

Schaefferstown is one of the oldest towns in Lebanon County (which was formed from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1813), being at least a century older than the county itself. It is the main town in Heidelberg Township. Although the exact date of the first settlers is unknown, it is certain that they settled here before 1725. Those first settlers were German Jews. Many of them were skilled craftmen and traders. They disappeared, however, when non-Jewish German settlers started moving into the area. The old burial ground was situated about a fourth mile south of Tower Hill and almost a hundred yards east of South Market Street in Schaefferstown. The Jewish settlement was known as the Lebanon Trading Post.

Schaefferstown held a Bicentenntial in 1963.

Brendle Farms, Philip Erpff House, and Rex House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bomberger's Distillery, also listed, is located near Schaefferstown. The Schaeffer House was added to the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), all of it land.

It is home to Fountain Park, which is the oldest Chartered Waterworks still in operation in the United States. It drains southward into the Cocalico Creek (a tributary of the Conestoga River) and is served by Routes 419, 501, and 897.


Schaeffers LebCo PA
Schaeffer House

As of the census of 2000, there were 984 people, 374 households, and 286 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 365.8 people per square mile (141.2/km2). There were 386 housing units at an average density of 143.5/sq mi (55.4/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 99.29% White, 0.51% African American, 0.10% Asian, 0.10% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.

There were 374 households, out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.4% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 24.8% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $43,542, and the median income for a family was $52,609. Males had a median income of $31,625 versus $26,528 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $29,176. About 2.0% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Fountain Park

Fountain Park Schaefferstown PA
Fountain Park

The water company in Schaefferstown has the oldest gravitational conveyance system by underground pipes in the United States. The water system was constructed sometime between 1744 and 1750 by the founder of the town, Alexander Schaeffer. The water system, which is located in the area now known as Fountain Park, is still used by the townspeople for potable household water. When the original system was laid out, it ran to two wooden troughs on the Square, which is now the intersection of Main St. and Market St. One trough was since replaced by Matilda Zimmerman in memory of Mary Rex Zimmerman, her mother and great granddaughter of Alexander Schaeffer. This trough is now located on the south face of the historic bank located within the Square.

Notable people

  • Johann Henrich Otto, fraktur artist

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