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Norristown is a mid-size Pennsylvania town located about 15 miles outside of Philadelphia. This thriving community boasts a well-rounded economy that relies on a number of industries, including health care, government and legal jobs. An ethnically diverse population adds a generous dose of culture to the communuty, and eye-catching Victorian architecture lends a sense of character to Norristown.
The History of Norristown
The land where modern-day Norristown now sits was originally owned by the Norris family, which bought the acreage from famous Quaker William Penn in 1704. The community originally began as a mill town, and it served as the primary retail center for the surrounding rural areas for quite some time. Norristown was also a major hub for industry, banking and government for many decades. Its locals worked at the community's numerous businesses, which included breweries, textile mills, cigar factories and lumber yards. Its early settlers were mainly English settlers, though large groups of Irish and Italian immigrants were welcomed in the mid-1800s and early 1900s.
Norristown experienced a major boom after the Civil War, jumping from about 500 residents in the early 1800s to more than 22,000 by 1900. In the early 20th century, it was the largest borough in the state, though its rate of growth has slowed in recent years.
Living in Norristown
People move to Norristown for many reasons, with one of the most popular being its diverse economy. Even though the city's unemployment rate hovers around the national average, there are many employment opportunities nearby in Philadelphia, and public transportation makes it easy to commute to the bigger city. However, you certainly don't have to travel to find good jobs; there are several major employers in Norristown to consider, including the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Norristown Area School District and U.S. Roofing Corp.
You'll also find plenty of options for entertainment and recreation in Norristown. The community offers many examples of historical architecture to explore, and the Montgomery County Cultural Center and Centre Theater host a range of theater, music and dance performances. These two establishments are part of the larger Norristown Arts Hill, which houses a number of local galleries and theaters in the downtown area. If you enjoy dining out, you can explore many types of cuisine in restaurants along Norristown's Main Street.
The Norristown Area School District manages the public schools in the Norristown area. You can also enroll your child at one of several private or parochial schools in Norristown and its neighboring communities.
Resources for Moving to Norristown
As you get ready to move to Norristown, the following information will simplify the process:
- Utilities: Norristown's primary utilities providers are PECO and Pennsylvania American Water.
- Garbage and Recycling: The town provides collection services that include trash, recycling, yard waste and bulky item pickup.
- Transportation: Norristown is part of the large SEPTA public transit network, which provides both rail and bus routes throughout the greater Philadelphia area.
There are many older, Victorian-style homes in Norristown, as well as a range of more modern homes. Prices are very affordable, especially considering its close proximity to Philadelphia. However, as more people discover the high desirability of Norristown, home prices are rising.