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Saxonburg Celebrated


                 Birth of American Wire Rope


                                                   by Victor Mendez
         Fred Caesar of the Saxonburg Historical and Restoration Commission might just
         be among the first to remind you that his western Pennsylvania borough just
         celebrated both the 185th anniversary of the founding of Saxonburg, 1832, as
         well as the 175th anniversary of John Roebling being granted a U.S. patent for
         his wire rope process. That historic patent was granted on July 16, 1842 – just
         one calendar day after festivities took place. The main activity was a community
         celebration on July 15, 2017. This was a great way to recognize both events in
         the borough’s history.


         “      he  July  15,  2017  celebrations

                included a morning parade with
            Ta  historical  theme  –  including
         an  honor  guard,  Knoch  H.S.  band  and
         other  musical  performers  –    floats,  fire
         equipment,  historical  cars,  farm  equip-
         ment, and much more,” explains Caesar.
         “In  the  afternoon  a  very  popular  event
         proved to be a street party including Ger-
         man music groups and food and other
         vendors, while Saxonburg Museum re-
         mained open during the afternoon.
           “A special reception at the Saxonburg
         Museum took place as well, with din-
         ner at Cooper Hall. Our keynote speak-
         er was Roebling historian  Clifford
         Zink,  author of The Roebling Legacy.
         Zink who signed copies of his book at
         the South Butler Community Library
         during the afternoon. The tickets sold   Event posters marking the dual celebrations of this historic time.
         for the dinner that evening in turn ben-
         efitted the Saxonburg Museum.”     celebration weekend of July 15-16, 2017.   excited by what came to be in Saxon-
           Kristian Roebling, direct descendant of   Mr.  Roebling  and  his  family  took  part   burg. This  Roebling descendant was
         John  Roebling,  participated  during  the   in the parade and other planned events   proud to be in Saxonburg, which John
                                            that weekend too. A “sister city” delega-  Roebling and his brother, Carl, found-
         Permanent town marker proudly on display   tion from Mühlhausen, Germany, was   ed as a German settlement in 1832.
         in Saxonburg.
                                            on hand July 15, 2017, for celebrations   “I love it,” said Roebling, a Brooklyn,
                                            as well. All this really started when John   New York resident. “This fascinates me
                                            Roebling and his brother traveled from   and is wonderful history that I am es-
                                            their native Mühlhausen to buy the land   pecially proud of – in addition to both
                                            that they founded as Saxonburg.    the excitement and beauty of this town.
                                              Almost two centuries after his great-  I only wish I could stay here longer.”
                                            great-great-grandfather  perfected the   Ironically, Kriss  lives a mere four
                                            manufacturing of wire rope for suspen-  blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, John
                                            sion  bridges, Kriss  Roebling stood in   Roebling designed. Fred Caesar, the
                                            Saxonburg. The borough celebrated the   event organizer added: “We are so hap-
                                            185th anniversary of its founding,  as   py so many turned out to be honorary
                                            well as the 175th anniversary of John   Saxonburgers this day.
                                            Roebling’s  wire  rope  process  patent,   “I’m  immensely  honored  and  happy
                                            which occurred on July 16, 1842.   to be here, and I wish I could be here
                                              Peter Armbrust of Westmoreland   longer,” he said.
                                            County is dressed in lederhosen — tra-  He wasn’t the only one who felt that
                                            ditional German  leather  garb —  for   way; residents of Saxonburg and else-
                                            Saxonburg’s  anniversary  celebrations              continued on page 18
                                            Saturday. Kriss Roebling felt that his   All photos courtesy of the Saxonburg Historical and
                                            ancestor, John would no doubt be very   Restoration Commision unless otherwise noted.

         16     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   October 2017
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