August 15, 2018

   

We are looking for information

Last Chance

To Be Part of Coll’s New Book

     Jack and Brian Coll have been working on a new Conshohocken/West Conshohocken book since 2012, and as we get close to finishing the book we are still looking for a little help.  One of the chapters in the book is titled “Corner Stores and Family Owned Businesses.” Over the years we have run into a lot of people, and we mean a lot of people who love talking about the corner store they remember going to after school or on a Saturday morning.  They remember to this day, even a half a century later what store they went to, exactly what candy they purchased, how much they paid, what candy was next to the candy they bought, and how they ate their candy.  (As in the yellow marshmallow peanuts had to be broken in half, or Swedish fish went in your mouth two pieces at a time and so on.)

      Even a half century later people remember when their mother sent them to the corner store to make a purchase, you had to get exactly what they told you, “a quarter pound of American cheese, AND make sure they slice it thin, I have to get five sandwiches out of it.”

     Well a good portion of this chapter is on CORNER STORES, and I’m still looking for photographs of any and all Conshohocken/West Conshohocken corner stores, inside or outside, no matter how old, or how recent the photos were taken.  The corner stores might be all gone by now but many of the family members still live in the area.  The Cardamone’s had three different stores, the Cherry’s had two stores and so on.  The actual owner may have passed on but family members are still living in the area and perhaps they have a picture or two of the store.  When we say corner stores, well sometimes these little candy stores weren’t necessarily located on the corner, maybe they were located in the middle of the block but they still sold candy, milk, bread meats and so-on, we would like to highlight them as part of the chapter.

     Other family owned businesses weren’t necessarily located on a corner and they didn’t necessarily sell candy.  A lot of the downtown businesses were family owned markets, appliance stores, shoe and clothing stores and so on, and the families were well known.  Jacobson’s Men’s Store, Ray’s Appliance, and a bunch of the eating establishments like May’s Diner, The Spot, Nick and Mike’s, and Duchin’s Luncheonette at 123 Ford Street or Wyrembedk’s Groceries on the 400 block of Bullock Avenue in West Conshohocken.

     The chapter of “Corner Stores and Family Owned Businesses” will be a fun walk down memory lane covering many of the Fayette Street main stream family owned businesses to the grandmothers who ran a one man business from the comfort of their own living rooms.  So the question is, “Can you help us?” if you don’t have a picture we’ll take information pertaining to a relative who owned or operated a corner store in either borough.

     Another chapter in the book we’re looking for help on is “African American History in Conshohocken.”  I’m interested in knowing more about the borough’s African American heritage, family history’s, when did some of these families arrive in Conshohocken, (many of the African American families moved from South Carolina to Conshohocken in the 1920’s)  Where did you or your grandparents work.  I’m also interested in African American owned borough businesses, stores, barber shops, self-employed carpenters and other businesses.  We have often written about the Irish, Polish and Itialians, we have a pretty good feel for their history in the borough, if young kids today want or need information on their heritage its easily accessible, but there is no public reference on the history of African Americans in the borough of Conshohocken and West Conshohocken.

     So if you feel you could be of some help with a family history or some other information on the history, or arrival of African Americans in these boroughs please contact us.

     The new book called “Conshohocken and West Conshohocken, People, Places and Stories” is shaping up to be a wonderful publication, and as of this date it is not finished but we anticipate the book having nearly 500 pages with more than 1,000 photographs including some very rare photographs.

     There’s a great chapter on the borough’s trolley cars, the charming and not so charming history of the trolleys, a really cool photographic chapter on the two borough’s industries, a chapter complete with stories and photographs on the borough’s redevelopment years, and the chapter I most enjoyed researching and writing called “Murder, Mystery and Scandal,” What’s it about you asked, well you can expect to read about Murder, Mystery, Scandal, Suicide, the Electric Chair, and Body Snatching, or as some like to call it, “Grave Robber’s.”  Read all about it when he book comes out.

     A small chapter on the Spring Mill section of town, a different kind of chapter on the borough’s recreation throughout the years, also a small chapter on the borough’s HOUSES AND AUTOMOBILES, among other chapters.

     When is this book going to be available, well we’re not sure just yet, we’re of course hoping that the book will be ready before Christmas but no promises.  The book is about three quarters written but we are committed to quality and having all the facts in the book right and you know what they say, “get the facts, double check the facts, and when you’re done checking the facts check them once more.”

     We travel far and wide to bring you the facts, rare photographs, and enjoyable chapters to read, and this all takes time.  Our book titled, “Tales of Conshohocken and Beyond” (the BEYOND being West Conshohocken, Plymouth and Whitemarsh) took Jack and Brian five years to research, write and photograph before releasing. We have been currently working on this book for more than three years and we expect to have it out in the near future.

     So if you can help us with any old photographs of the town, photographs or information pertaining to corner stores and or family owned businesses please contact us.

     If you can help us with information or photographs pertaining to the history of African Americans in Conshohocken and or West Conshohocken we would appreciate it.  Even large group photographs of African American families from days gone by or a business or barber shop, we would love to see them, please contact us by email

Books available at Coll’s Custom Framing,

Located at 324 Fayette Street include:

Tales of Conshohocken and Beyond, (limited copies available)

Remembering Conshohocken & West Conshohocken

Conshohocken Then & Now

Conshohocken and West Conshohocken Sports

Along with other area publications

We get asked from time to time about the book “Conshohocken in Pictures 2012”

Sorry to say that book is sold out and will not be re-published.

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