The Freedom Valley Chronicles: The Expansion of Conshohocken Through Annexation – Part Two

The John Borusiewicz Field – the B Field – as seen from the air. Hallowell Street is the roadway that goes from the middle of the bottom of this photo to near the top of the right-side of this image. 13th Avenue is the roadway that goes from near the bottom of the right-side of the photo to near the top middle of this image. To put this aerial photograph in perspective, Fayette Street is the roadway seen going from near the top of the left-side of this photo to the left-side of the top of this image.

Part of the border of the Borough of Conshohocken with two of its neighbors – Plymouth Township and Whitemarsh Township – follows the alignment of 12th Avenue, with one exception.

A small portion of the Borough of Conshohocken is located beyond 12th Avenue. Surrounded on multiple sides by Whitemarsh, this land is located along Hallowell Street and 13th Avenue.

While Conshohocken was incorporated as a Borough in 1850, the newest part of the Borough did not formerly become part of the municipality until 1968.

For decades, this 3.52 acre piece of ground has been known as the “B Field”. The land had been acquired by the Conshohocken School District for use by athletes and other students at the Conshohocken High School.

In 1966, the Conshohocken School District was merged with the Plymouth Township Elementary School District, the Whitemarsh Township Elementary School District, and the Plymouth-Whitemarsh Joint School District to form the Colonial School District.

As part of the plans for the merger, the Conshohocken High School was to be closed and its students assigned to attend the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

With the closure of the Conshohocken High School, area educational officials determined that the B Field would no longer be needed as part of the Colonial School District.

Local officials in Conshohocken gathered at meetings during several months to determine what would happen with the B Field. Initially, the Conshohocken School Board wanted the Borough to pay $6,000.00 for the land. After discussions – read arguments – the Conshohocken School District agreed to sell the B Field to the Borough of Conshohocken for $1.00.

According to Montgomery County, the deed to the property was recorded by the Borough on June 29, 1966. The Colonial School District came into formal existence on July 1, 1966.

The area highlighted in yellow is the newest addition to the Borough of Conshohocken. It was sold to the municipal government by the Conshohocken School District in 1966 and then was annexed by the Borough from Whitemarsh Township in 1968.

While the land was now owned by the Borough – and even though the ground had been owned by the Conshohocken School District for decades – the 3.52 acre site was still governed by municipal officials with Whitemarsh Township.

The Conshohocken Borough Council decided that it would prefer to have the B Field under the full control of the municipal government of the Borough.

According to a news article dated October 17, 1968, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Conshohocken Borough Council had voted “recently” to formally begin annexation of the B Field into the Borough’s corporate limits.

There did not appear to be any record of opposition to the annexation.

These annexation efforts were supported by a majority of the members of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors. Leaders in Whitemarsh government, though, did request that the land remain as open space and not be developed.

According to a news article dated December 15, 1968, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Conshohocken inserted a deed restriction into its land ownership document “that the property will forever be for park and recreation use and no other”.

The Conshohocken Borough Council extended its thanks to Whitemarsh for the township’s cooperation with the annexation.

According to the Borough of Conshohocken, the annexation of the B Field formerly took effect through Ordinance 22-1968 on December 12, 1968.

The B Field remains open space.

Today, the Borough of Conshohocken uses both the name “B Field” and the “John Borusiewicz Memorial Field” to designate this public site. The field was named in honor of Mr. John Borusiewicz, a local resident who was active in sports leadership in the Conshohocken area. He died in 1995.

While relations between the municipal governments of Conshohocken and Whitemarsh were good in 1968, those relations were downright hostile in certain previous years. Read about the time when Conshohocken attempted to double its size and annex 7 of the 9 major industries of Whitemarsh in Part 3 of The Expansion Of Conshohocken Through Annexation.

This is the view of the B Field – the John Borusiewicz Memorial Field – as seen from 13th Avenue.

The aerial photograph of the John Borusiewicz Memorial Field (the B Field) is courtesy of Google, 2017.

The map is courtesy of Montgomery County, 2018.

The view of the John Borusiewicz Memorial Field (the B Field) from 13th Avenue is courtesy of Google, 2012.

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© 2018 Richard McDonough