Our History

Olympians, soldiers and abolitionists have all hailed from the bustling streets of Norristown.

Beginning as a modest seventeenth-century settlement along the Schuylkill River, Norristown became an industrial boomtown and attracted waves of immigrants to its forges, railways and mills. "The Biggest Borough in the World," once Norristown's self-proclaimed slogan, quite easily could have been referred to as the original "City of Big Shoulders," considering the industrious nature of the town.

The Dutch, Welsh and English were the first to arrive in this area in the early 1600s. When Montgomery County was established in 1784, the Town of Norris was quickly formed as the county seat.

The Borough of Norristown was established on March 31, 1812. The first official day of business was conducted on May 1, 1812, and after an election of officers, the first act of council was to have the town clerk keep and possess a common seal. Twenty-one years later, the beehive that adorns the common seal was created by David Kneas, an engraver for the U.S. Mint.

Fervet Opus, which is Latin for 'the work boils,' was chosen as the slogan. From its humble beginnings, Norristown seemed on a path of perpetual growth. Like many other urban areas throughout the United States, Norristown was left behind by the advent of the suburban mall. Through a period of decline, Norristown has maintained its character and is showing solid signs of revitalization.

Olympians can still be found among our streets, and the sleepy seventeenth-century settlement has transformed itself into a modern twenty-first century destination.

For more information on the history of Norristown and Montgomery County, visit the Historical Society website



The Selma Mansion

Municipality of Norristown
235 East Airy Street
Norristown, PA 19401

Phone: 610-272-8080
Fax: 610-275-0687


The 2016 Annual Report is now available online.

Read about the accomplishments, challenges and goals Municipal Council faced over the year. The publication also features local organizations like Elmwood Park Zoo, Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, The Centre Theater, Theatre Horizon, Dragon Boat Club and much more!


RT @VAArk: Congratulations to @SalvationArmyPA on the beautiful new Choice Food Pantry in @NorristownOrg @MontcoPA Beautiful and dignified…

RT @MontgomeryCoPA: Grand opening of Trail of the Jaguar exhibit at Elmwood Park in Norristown to be held May 5 https://t.co/wMIVDB2PIv

Fire Safety tips from the Norristown Fire Department
Norristown Council Meeting held on March 7, 2017
Norristown Fire Department - Recruitment video
Norristown Council Meeting from February 7, 2017