Patrick and Arthur McGill were the first European settlers to lay claim the land now known as Saegertown, each staking out 400 acres. Patrick built his house in 1792, effectively declaring his ownership of the land. The house burned down in 1802 but was promptly rebuilt and still stands today. The area was eventually plotted as Saeger’s Town after a local property owner of the same name, and in 1955 the Borough Council agreed to the current name, “Saegertown.” Whereas nearby Cambridge Springs built a bustling resort industry following the discovery of mineral springs, entrepreneurs in Saegertown started bottling companies. The first was Eureka Springs, followed by the Saegertown Ginger Ale Company in 1920. When Saegertown Ginger Ale could no longer compete with national soft drink brands, they switched their commodity to bottled water. The company, now Saegertown Beverages, still sells Eureka Springs Water. Visitors to Saegertown will see fine residential architecture along Route 6/19, as well as a town that is taking steps to connect to French Creek. From a riverside park you can see a vehicular bridge decoratively illuminated with LED lighting. Basic services are available to paddlers, including sandwiches, pizza, gas, picnic areas, a laundromat, and ice cream.
The Woodcock Creek Lake Dam is a favorite spot of local residents. An access roadway built on top of the dam provides a mile-long walking and jogging path with the lake and rural countryside as the backdrop. The lake also features the Bossard Nature Trail, a designated National Recreation Trail, a scenic overlook, and a campground.
The Patrick McGill House Museum, built in 1802, is the oldest original structure in Crawford County. The house has been refurbished to represent a typical home of the Western Pennsylvania frontier. Those who wish to tour the museum are asked to stop by the Saegertown Heritage Society, 320 Broad St., for an appointment.
The Erie National Wildlife Refuge is located just 15 miles southeast of Saegertown. The 8,800 acre property is open to the public, offering a site for hunting, fishing, and exploring. The nature trails have observation blinds for photography and birding, as well as signs highlighting the refuge’s management techniques and natural concepts.
Insider Tips and Local Trivia
- The Saegertown Dairy Inn is one of those long-standing soft serve venues that are simple, straight-forward, and well worth the stop. Locals like the food menu as much as the ice cream, and a photo in front of the building, complete with oversized sign in the shape of a cone, is a must. Open April through October.
- Pennsylvania’s first rural electric pole was placed in Saegertown in 1936 by the newly formed Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative Association. By 1941, 13 other electric cooperatives were formed around the state.
- Also in 1941, the Erie Milk Producers and the Saegertown Dairy Cooperative Association merged to form the Erie-Crawford Co-op. The Co-op has changed its products and services over past 70+ years to meet the needs of area farmers and is currently located on Erie St . The Co-op and the many farms you’ll see on your journey are visual reminders of the area’s agricultural heritage.
There is a Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission access located on Route 6/19 just ¼ mile south of the Borough of Saegertown. PFBC launch permit or boat registration sticker required.