The suburb has its origins as part of the Braamfontein farm which was owned by Hermann Eckstein. He had bought the farm to explore it for minerals and when he failed to find any, the land was converted as a timber plantation in 1891 called Sachsenwald after Otto von Bismarck's estate. The lands name would be anglicized at the beginning of World War One and was called Saxonwold. In 1903, Wernher Beit & Co and Max Michaelis gave 200 acres of freehold ground in the Sachsenwald plantation to the Johannesburg Town Council for the use by the people of Johannesburg by the creation of the Herman Eckstein Park. This park would become Zoo Lake, the Johannesburg Zoo and the South African National Museum of Military History. The remaining land in the plantation was developed into a township called Saxonwold in 1925 by the Transvaal Consolidated Land & Exploration Co Ltd. The streets were laid out to view the Rand Regiments Memorial with instructions to home builders not to impede the view of the memorial and the street names having an old Anglo-Saxon theme and ended in wold.