Roebling, New Jersey
|producers in New Jersey. Starting in Trenton, Roebling moved to Kinkora, to solve a space issue,
but when moving to Kinkora, a new problem arose. Where would they find and house the many
workers that would be needed to run a mill of the size, envisioned by Charles Roebling? Thus the
town of Roebling was born. At its finish there were more than 750 houses, and a large steel
producing mill in the foreground. But it was not filled with all pleasure. Roebling was a steel town.
And everything in it was owned by the mill. Employees would rent there homes and could be
thrown out without notice. One thing that Roebling was worried about was the possibility of the
forming of a union. But that was taken care of. Roebling imported most of his employees from
Eastern Europe, which they were just happy to have a job paying 12 cents an hour. While Italians
who gained prominence as labor agitators in Trenton, where quietly barred from employment. In
the 1930's and the 1940's was the high point for the town of Roebling. The Blue Centers, a football
team formed of mill workers were on a roll and were the pride of the town. The mill also produced
the steel cable required for the construction of The Golden Gate Bridge, and The George
Washington Bridge. And the WW2 contracts that the mill acquired brought employment up to over
5,000. But that would be short lived as compared to the entire life of the mill. In the 1950's with the
war over the mill started to downsize. The first of the hits came as the mill sold off all of the
employee housing to the employees. In 1952, the mill sold out to the Colorado Fuel and Iron
Company, and in 1974 they closed the doors to the mills in both Trenton and in Roebling. Today
Roebling bolsters 3,800 people in a bedroom community. Its industrial might is no more. Only a
sign into the past of this once industrially sound town. Florence Township along with the U.S.
Government as sunk in 20 million dollars to environmentally clean up the area. It may one day be
the home to a marina or a large shopping complex. Roebling as with all industrial towns in the late
1800's and the early 1900's has now pasted its prime. The mills that once lit up the night sky now
sit cold and dark. Today most of the mill is gone. And what is left now only represents a small
amount of what was there in its day. Roebling is now only a shell of what it once was, as with the
rest of the big steel towns like Bethlehem, Pittsburg and so on. It is time to move on, but we must
not forget the history and the men who made Roebling into one of the biggest mills in New Jersey.
Roebling will live on in the minds of the people who worked there and called this town there home.
So let’s not forget them.