September 25, 2017

   

NEW BOOK! Conshohocken & West Conshohocken

CONSHOHOCKEN & WEST CONSHOHOCKEN

People, Places & Stories

Volume Two

 

 

This is the Peoples National Bank of West Conshohocken. It was established in 1907. The bank later merged and became the West Conshohocken branch of the Conshohocken Trust Company. After the bank closed the building was sold to the borough of West Conshohocken in 1935 for $2,500.00

First of all we here at Coll’s Custom Framing want to thank everyone who purchased “Conshohocken & West Conshohocken  People, Places & Stories,” Volume One.  The book sold out rather quickly.

However, there is still time to get your order in, (call Coll’s Framing at 610-825-7072 to order your book) for volume two.

We have received some wonderful feed-back on volume one and we truly hope everyone is enjoying the book.  Volume Two is still on track to come out in December sometime before Christmas and would make a splendid Christmas gift.

Below we listed the chapters in volume two and want to tell you a little bit about each chapter, enjoy!

 

VOLUME TWO

TRANSPORTATION:                        Old School Conshohocken

You’ll be treated to a number of old photographs showing off vintage vehicles as they were seen in and around the borough back in the day.  Horse drawn carriages, sleighs and a little auto industry history within the borough.

 

SOAP BOX DERBY:                           One of the Best in the Country

Conshohocken has been blessed over the years pertaining to Soap Box Derby with good leadership and a borough full of volunteers.

 

AFRICAN AMERICANS:                   A Great Little History

To the best of our knowledge there has never been a written history of Conshohocken African Americans.  We wondered when did the African American population first arrive in Conshohocken, what brought them here and what impact have they made in the community?  This is perhaps one of the more interesting chapters in the book.

 

CORNER STORES:                           It Was A Glorious Time

We provided some old photographs of our favorite corner stores and family owned businesses.  How-about-it, do you remember bakeries in the borough, what about all the Barber Shops, Banks and other institutions?  Zimmer’s Store, Kelly’s Store, Pilcicki’s Store and of course the “Bar’s.”  This is a very enjoyable chapter.

 

BUSINESSES                                      Lots of Businesses

This chapter is unique in that it’s a list of borough businesses from over the years, some you’ll remember, some you’ve forgotten about and a whole bunch you probably never heard of!

 

MILITARY                                              Conshohocken Proud

These two tiny boroughs of Conshohocken and West Conshohocken have a tremendous military history spanning from the Civil War through all the current conflicts and wars going on in the world today.  Although we’ve written about the boroughs military service many times it worth telling again.  We recapped some of our military history and added a bit of a new spin on some other information.   Again we think the reader will find this chapter very interesting.

 

IRISH                                                  They were the First

The Irish were the first settlers in the village of Conshohocken arriving long before incorporation.  Jobs at the early foundries, stone quarries and the Alan Wood Steel Mill company back in the 1830’s and before.  Although this is a short chapter, (we really didn’t have the space to run a few family histories) but hoping it will lead some future historian to add to the history in writing.

 

FAYETTE STREET MANSIONS                 In Living Color!

Everyone in the borough remembers the mansions or has heard about them.  We highlighted about 30 Fayette Street mansions and houses and gave a little background to previous owners, most of whom were prominent residents.  We also spent a lot of money colorizing the black and white photographs giving a more realistic look back to a time when these structures dominated the Fayette Street landscape.  While there are several highlights in the chapter perhaps none more than several views of the “Jones Gardens” that once graced Fayette Street from Fourth Avenue to Fifth Avenue where Borough Hall and a bank now occupy the former site of the gardens.

 

RESIDENT PROFILES:                 A Few Interesting Residents of Our Fine Borough

Sometimes the names are forgotten of some of our previous residents who lived and worked in Conshohocken and made an impact in one way or another in Conshohocken and sometimes they left an impact on our country.

I wonder who remembers or has ever heard the name of: James Harrison, Inventor; Kurt Borusiewicz, who produced a Disco era Gold album, James McGuire, who went on to become one of the biggest property owners in West Conshohocken, Charles Heber Clark, an international known author, Paul Donnelly, a movie producer who worked with some of the biggest names in the business including Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, James Garner, Doris Day and Paul Newman.

Some of our former residents are sure to surprise you.

 

URBAN REDEVELOPMENT:         It Was Devastating

The words, “urban redevelopment” were introduced to our residents back in the mid 1950’s when the deterioration began to show on lower Fayette Street. Urban Redevelopment was a decades-long process that saw residents evicted from their homes on both sides of the bridge in an effort to improve the condition and economy of our boroughs.

We’ve traced the more than 50 years of urban redevelopment by showing lower Fayette Street in the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s and how this town thrived through those years.  We then show the reader the demise of lower Fayette Street, the demolition and the rebirth of our lower end. It’s an incredible story!

 

WEDDINGS:                                     We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!

We happen to have a number of wedding photographs from the old Conshohocken Recorder newspaper from the 1950’s and decided to run them showing the traditional wedding photographs of the day.  Exiting the church, getting in the car and so-on.  Then we also show some more recent nontraditional weddings from around town, it’s a great conversation chapter.

 

MUSIC:                                            Conshohocken Style

Residents from both boroughs have made an impact on the music world both locally and internationally.  Who would have thought so much music would have come out of these small Pennsylvania boroughs from Bob Dylan recording in the borough to Chubby Checker maintaining offices on Fayette Street for nearly 25 years now.

 

CELEBRATIONS:                               Lots of Em’

One thing the Conshohockens know how to do is celebrate.  Over the years we have covered hundreds of events in town so we didn’t even scratch the surface with this chapter.  Photographs and stories from the borough’s Seventy Fifth Anniversary back in 1925, the borough’s centennial celebration in 1950, and the Sesquicentennial celebration in 2000 are all highlighted.

Remembering St. Mary’s block parties and SS Cosmas final feast, Car shows, and other more recent events are also covered in this chapter, very enjoyable.

Volume Two will have over 600 pages with more than 1,000 photographs in both color and black and white. The book contains a lot of history intertwined with the stories we’ve told making the books enjoyable and life-long keepsakes.

 

Conshohocken and West Conshohocken-People, Places and Stories can be ordered by calling Coll’s Custom Framing at 610-825-7072 or by stopping by our shop at 324 Fayette Street in person to order your book.  All orders must be pre-paid at $65.00 plus tax.

Residents who pre-ordered both books should not be confused about ordering, if you ordered the set of books back in the spring and already have volume one you are already paid and on the list for volume two.

Volume one is sold out and no more books are available and we thank everyone who purchased a book or books and hope you are enjoying the read.

If you have any questions about the books please contact us at 610-825-7072.  As of right now you have until November 1, 2017 to pre-order the book.  As the time draws near we will have a more definite date as to order deadlines and delivery date.

 

Thank You

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