How we love to reminisce about the good old days. I often hear many of my friends who grew up in Conshohocken talk about Wally’s, 401 Diner, Penny candy stores and their favorite friends house to hang out had been. We joke on how it was made up of hardworking people, manufacturing industries and more Churches, Bars & Funeral Homes than any other place around it. But I think that one of the most noticeable differences between then and now (for me “then” was the 70’s) is the housing. I know all of you would agree! What most new residents don’t understand is that we were basically a poor town in comparison to the rest of the Colonial School District area (Plymouth & Whitemarsh). We were tough kids from a tough little town and our housing was dirt cheap. You didn’t move to Conshohocken, you were FROM Conshohocken. During the 70’s Conshohocken suffered industry closings and many families suffered lay offs. During the 80’s we were struggling to sustain let alone think about rebuilding. But in the 90’s when the Blue Route and State Funding for the Brown Fields started coming in we had a smart Council who led us to prosperous times.
During these different decades the housing market wasn’t much of a market. Most times family members would inherit a home, rent it out or buy from each other. There were small real estate brokerages trying to make a living out of selling the few houses that reached the market. But in all honesty the market wasn’t anywhere close to what we are experiencing today. People WANT to move here. We are prosperous and our small businesses are too and that makes us very fortunate. So next time you are sitting in that horrible rush hour traffic crossing the bridge or can’t find a spot to park on Fayette please try to keep things in perspective. I love my town and I am so proud to be a part of its history but I truly believe that those of us who know the decades of struggle Conshohocken endured would agree with me that this housing market and these rehabbed and new construction homes bringing in more and more residents is a much better experience than the past.