Saxonburg is a small town that changed the world. It was here that its founder, John Roebling, invented wire rope and went on to design several well-known bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge. Visitors from around the world travel to Saxonburg to pay homage to its founder, visit its historic landmarks, and enjoy its well-preserved small town charm.
Historic Main Street
Main Street in Saxonburg is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nearly 40 buildings along Main Street have green keystone-shaped plaques that share information about their history. Some buildings date back to the mid-1800s. The green plaques are easy to see and read simply by walking along the sidewalks on either side of Main Street.
John A. Roebling's house, also on the National Register of Historic Places and where his son Washington was born in 1837, is at the East end of Main Street near the "little white church."
At age 25, Roebling laid out Main Street and built the original "little white church" as he had learned how things were done in his hometown of Muhlhausen, Germany (known as Prussia at the time) -- by running the main street of town East to West with the town's church at the highest point of the terrain.
The same property that John A. Roebling and his brother Karl built their first house is now home to the Saxonburg Museum and a small replica of the Brooklyn Bride. It is connected to the first small house that John and Karl built, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places. When Roebling Park was formed, the house was moved from the corner of the property, where North Rebecca Street meets Water Street, to its present location.
John and Karl lived on a farm about a mile and a half away while building this house, then they lived in it while they built the 'big house' up on the main street of town. This smaller house is now referred to as "the rope house" in reference to its becoming John's workshop for making his wire ropes after the 'big house' on Main Street was built. The large church next to the 'big house' owns it now and uses it for offices and counseling.
Near the "rope house" in Roebling Park is an example of one of the systems Roebling invented to help adjust the length of the cables hanging from the main suspension cable that held up the roadway of the bridges he designed.
The park property is roughly one quarter in length of what John and Karl owned and used. Their lot ran from Water Street, up the hill to where the "little white church" stands at the east end of Main Street. It was on this property that John A. Roebling laid out his "rope walk" and made his first wire rope cables for customers. Great difficulty in shipping his product to customers factored into his decision to move his business to Trenton, New Jersey. Many townspeople followed Roebling when he moved.
ROEBLING ROADSIDE MARKER
Alongside Butler Road in Saxonburg is a large, free-standing plaque that was put up in late 1947, honoring John A. Roebling for establishing Saxonburg in 1832 and for perfecting steel wire rope and designing the Brooklyn Bridge. Also mentioned is his son Washington A. Roebling, who finished the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The marker is located on Butler Rd (SR 2010) near High Street, in Saxonburg.
GPS Coordinates are: LNG: -79.81798 and LAT: 40.75503
The history of the community is represented in a number of museum rooms which display artifacts from the growth and development of Saxonburg, since its first settlers arrived in 1831.
199 North Rebecca Street
Saxonburg, PA 16056
South Butler Community Library
History buffs may explore the Library’s historic documents and books, and research family genealogy using church registers, pamphlets, and other important tools.
240 West Main Street
Saxonburg, PA 16056
Roebling Park & Cooper Hall
Home of John Roebling’s 1840 Workshop where he experimented with ideas for wire rope. Also home to large, outdoor replica of Roebling’s Brooklyn Bridge.
North Rebecca Street
Saxonburg, PA 16056
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