Lehigh Valley

One Tank Trip: George Taylor House

CATASAUQUA, Pa. - A few spots under John Hancock, you'll find George Taylor. His signature from almost 240 years ago. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

You'll find George Taylor's summer home in what is now known as Catasauqua, Lehigh County. The two-story Georgian with an attic is open to the public.

"The woodwork, the floors, the stairs that you tread on are the same ones that George tread on," explained Emily Zacharda, the director.

In 1736, Taylor immigrated to the American colonies from northern Ireland and, within years, became a successful ironmaster. He was prominent in politics but only got to sign the Declaration of Independence when one of the members of Congress declined to sign.

"There were still a lot of people who were loyal to the king, and so he was kind of an alternate, I would guess, and he supported the war and he became a signer," Zacharda said.

"They were literally putting their life on the line when they did it. If they failed, they were traitors. They were going to be in prison for life," said Eugene Goldfeder, Catasauqua's borough manager.

A copy of the Declaration of Independence is on Taylor's desk in the master bedroom, and you can look for his signature.

And on your way out, you'll get your own mini-version of the Declaration of Independence to take home as a souvenir.

"Oh, they're thrilled," Zacharda explained. "They think it's the greatest thing in the world, even though the print is so small you can barely read it."


There was a lot to put down on paper. Beyond the politics, the signers were men with families who lived in a not so convenient time.

"The saying sleep tight originates from this," Zacharda said. "Every night, you had to tighten it so the bed would not sag."

And if the walls could talk, some of the stories come with the hint of a scandal.

"After his wife died, he went on to have five more children with his housekeeper, Naomi," Zacharda explained.

They are tidbits of Taylor's life you'll learn along the way, as you tour his home.

At its core, it's a house built on the promise of the American dream. Taylor died penniless in 1781. He gave everything to the cause and sadly never saw those dreams become reality.

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