BOROUGH HISTORY

CHRONOLOGICAL TIMELINE

1683

William Penn visits Plymouth Meeting in Montgomery County

1687

Germantown Pike constructed. First roadway in Montgomery County.

1704

Whitemarsh Township founded

1781

Stage Coach opened on Ridge Pike in Montgomery County

1792

Canal company incorporated to link Norristown with Philadelphia via Conshohocken

1847

Conshohocken Presbyterian Church founded

1850

May 15 – Borough of Conshohocken incorporated by the state of Pennsylvania (Pa.) from land controlled by Whitemarsh Township in Montgomery County.

The Conshohocken School District is established. Merged with Plymouth-Whitemarsh Township in 1966.

1851

St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church founded

1857

Conshohocken Methodist Episcopal Church founded

Conshohocken Calvary Episcopal Church founded

1863

June – Conshohocken Borough Council authorized a payment of three dollars a week to any Conshohocken enlistees to answer the call of Governor Curtin (Curtin was highest elected official in the state of Pennsylvania) to resist the invasion of the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee into Pennsylvania during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The Battle of Gettysburg (the largest land battle in North America) was fought July 1-3, 1863, about 115 miles west of Conshohocken.

1866

St. Matthew's School was started. The high school was the oldest Catholic school in the United States upon its closure in 1966 when it merged into Archbishop Kennedy High School. Archbishop Kennedy was merged into Kennedy Kenrick High School, located in Norristown, Pa. in 1993. Kennedy Kenrick High School was merged into Pope John Paul II High School, located in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County, Pa., in 2010.

1872

Conshohocken's wooden bridge across the Schuylkill River was replaced with an iron structure. This iron structure was the third Conshohocken bridge. The first bridge, a wooden covered bridge, was constructed at Matson's Ford in 1833. This was replaced by a second wooden bridge which was constructed in 1852.

1873

The first water system was piped throughout Conshohocken

February 3, at about a quarter past four in the afternoon, a boiler at the John Wood & Bros. foundry and rolling mill exploded, killing a total of fourteen people.

1874

The Washington Hose and Steam Fire Engine Company Number 1 was incorporated.

October 6 – Borough of West Conshohocken incorporated by the state of Pennsylvania (Pa.) with land taken nearly equally from the townships of Upper and Lower Merion

1875

Conshohocken's first Borough Hall and Lockup was built at Hector and Forest Streets.

A gas-producing plant was built at Poplar and Washington and gas was distributed to homeowners.

1884

J. Elwood Lee moved his surgical supply business from his East Seventh Avenue home to a building at Eighth and Harry Street. In 1896, the factory was enlarged and in 1910 the company moved to its new plant at Spring Mill. The company also added the manufacture of auto tires to its products and changed its name to Lee Tires. In 1966, Lee Tires became a subsidiary of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and closed in 1978. The Lee Tire Plant at Spring Mill was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in Montgomery County in 1984.

1875

The Conshohocken Electric Light and Power Company was built on the berm bank, between the canal and river, 100 yards north of Fayette Street.

1892

St. Marks Lutheran Church founded

1893

Conshohocken's first football team, the Conshohocken Ironmen, was formed. This team won championships between 1895 and 1901. The Conshohocken Ironmen eventually evolved into the Conshohocken Pros of 1914-1921 who were champions of the East. Reliance of West Conshohocken were Schuylkill Valley Champions of 1910.

1897

Conshohocken's basketball was started. In 1904-05 under Manager William Neville, they claimed the first World's Basketball Championship. It was never disputed. In 1906-07 Conshohocken, with a population of 5,000, won the Philadelphia League Basketball Championship.

1902

The Conshohocken Fire Company Number 2 was founded

1907

The Conshohocken Free Library founded

1910

Eight grandchildren of Lewis A. Lukens gave the Lukens Home at Third Avenue and Fayette Streets to the Borough of Conshohocken to be used as the headquarters of the Conshohocken Free Library. Charles Heber Clark, author, editor, industrialist, civic leader and father of three of the Lukens grandchildren made the suggestion.

1916

Roy "Whitey" Ellam of West Conshohocken managed the Nashville baseball team to the Southern League Championship and was known as the "Marvel Man of Baseball." Ellam played second base for Pittsburgh, National League.

1918

Conshohocken was recognized by the U.S. Congress for its contribution to the Nation in World War I. More of the borough's sons and daughters were in the armed services of the United States in comparison than any other community in the Country. A merchant ship was named by Congress "Conshohocken."

1921

November 11 – The fourth Conshohocken bridge was made of concrete and opened with great fanfare. Also, on the same day, the Riant Movie Theater opened for business. The Riant Theater stopped showing films in the early '70s and was razed in 1976 as part of Conshohocken's redevelopment.

1923

John McBride, native of Conshohocken, graduate of Conshohocken High, was named to the All-American Football team (2nd Squad). A halfback at Syracuse University, he holds the record of 11 placekicks made in college in 1924 and the most kicked in one game (3). McBride was the first player signed by the New York Giants (National Football League professional team) in 1925. He later served as an NFL coach, 1935-40.

Conshohocken Art League was formed. This was the first art organization in suburban Philadelphia.

1927

A.A. Garthwaite Field, used for all major town sporting events, was founded.

1930

Frank Sutcliffe, president of John Wood Co., presented 17.5 acres of land between West Seventh and West Tenth Avenue west of Maple Street for a park in memory of his wife, Mary "Polly" Sutcliffe.

1940

For his discoveries used in the vulcanization of rubber, Stewart B. Molony was named second to Charles Goodyear in the development of rubber by the American Chemical Society.

Conshohocken's Battery "C" was made a National Guard Unit. Unit federalized on January 11, 1941.

1953

The Fellowship House, which continues to serve as Conshohocken's community center, was built.

1956

Lt. Commander Henry Donald Collins piloted the first airship over the North Pole as an event in the Geo-Physical Year program for the U.S. Navy.

1962

James J. Mellon, elected Burgess 1959 and under Commonwealth mandate to eliminate the title of Burgess, became the first Mayor of Conshohocken.

1963

The Conshohocken Historical Society was formed.

1966

St. Matthew's School high school merged into Archbishop Kennedy High School.

The Conshohocken School District merged with Plymouth-Whitemarsh Township.

1971

January 27 – A gas explosion occurred on Front Street in West Conshohocken, destroying a complete row of town houses. Five people died, including two children (who were brother and sister), their grandfather and one fireman from West Conshohocken.

1972

June – Hurricane Agnes inundates Conshohocken with record flooding.

1973

The Conshohocken Sports Hall of Fame was founded.

1975

Urban redevelopment begins.

Washington Hose and Steam Fire Engine Company's fire house was listed on the National Register of Historical Listings in Montgomery County.

1983

As a result of urban redevelopment, the first tower Bridge office building is opened.

1987

The fifth and current Conshohocken bridge was opened.

1991

December 19 – Highway 476 connected to Route 76 and Conshohocken.

1993

Archbishop Kennedy was merged into Kennedy Kenrick High School, located in Norristown, Pa.

1996

St. Matthew's grade school consolidated with Saint Mary's grade school and Saint Cosmos and Damian grade school to become Conshohocken Catholic School.

2003

Conshohocken Fire Company Number 2 was housed in a new building at 819 Fayette Street. 

2008

Fire destroys four apartment buildings along the Schuylkill River. These apartments were constructed as part of urban redevelopment.

2012

Conshohocken Catholic School was closed.

2014

The Roman Catholic churches of St. Mary's, St. Gertrude's and Saints Cosmos and Damien are merged into the existing St. Matthew's Parish.

2016

The Saints Cosmas & Damian Roman Catholic Church was sold to St. Mary & St. Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church. St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church of West Conshohocken was sold to the town of West Conshohocken. The Roman Catholic parishes previously associated with both of these Roman Catholic Churches were merged with St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church in 2014.

1681

King Charles II of England gave the present-day states of Pennsylvania and Delaware to William Penn because of the King's debts to William Penn's father, Sir William Penn. Sir William Penn had died in 1670.

2005

First Baptist Church of Conshohocken destroyed by fire. Church was rebuilt and returned to service in 2013.

2007

Washington Hose and Steam Fire Company's firehouse addition was completed.

2018

August 1 - The Roman Catholic Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) establishes itself at St. Mary's Church. The Roman Catholic parish previously associated with St. Mary's Church was merged with St. Matthew's Roman Catholic Church in 2014.

2021

September 2 - Hurricane Ida inundates Conshohocken with record flooding.

AmerisourceBergen moved its corporate headquarters to a newly-constructed office building in Conshohocken.