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Reserve Hill and George Saegmuller

George Nicholas Saegmuller was a native of Germany who came to live in Washington in 1870.  He was an inventor of scientific instruments including the Seagmuller Solar Attachment for use in surveying and a telescopic bore sight for heavy naval guns.

Saegmuller married Maria Jane Vandenberg {h} of “Reserve Hill” on Little Falls Road, and they lived in the family home there with Mrs. Saegmuller’s parents, eventually inheriting the property.   The area is said to have been named “Reserve Hill” during the Civil War when reserve troops from the Union Army were stationed on nearby Minor Hill. After the original frame house burned in 1894, Saegmuller built a large stone residence, completed around 1903, using bluestone quarried from the property. The large stone water tower built behind the house, with its cupola-capped octagonal roof, was said to be a replica of a gate tower in the Nuremberg city wall.

Saegmuller established a business in Washington manufacturing precision instruments but was nevertheless very involved in the community. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in the 1890s and later became chairman. In addition he borrowed money, using his own credit, to help put the county on a strong financial footing and gave money for a school which was named after him, shown above (this building was later replaced by the James Madison School).

The house is currently owned by the Knights of Columbus who use it as a meeting hall and headquarters.

What About You?

What are your memories of “Reserve Hill”? We want to hear from you!

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