Located 15 miles northwest of Philadelphia, along the scenic banks of the Schuylkill River, Norristown's history is a story of hard-work, economic prosperity, and the endeavor to adapt to changing times.

Our Founding

The land from which Norristown was founded was acquired by the family of Isaac Norris, a prominent Quaker merchant and former mayor of Philadelphia during the early 1700s. Norris purchased the land directly from William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the growing city center of Philadelphia. 

When a collection of communities decided to form Montgomery County in 1784, Norristown was named the county seat of government. It was not until March 31, 1812 that Norristown was officially incorporated as a Pennsylvania State Borough (the first in Montgomery County).

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3

Industrial Boomtown

Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, Norristown developed into a thriving industrial and retail center. The following industries called Norristown home and provided ample employment for skilled laborers and artisans including:

  • Factories
  • Foundries
  • Icehouses
  • Lumber yards
  • Textile mills

Our downtown also featured a bustling shopping district filled with department stores, several theaters, and restaurants that attracted visitors from throughout the region.