It’s been seven years since I’ve been a resident of Bucks County.
I was born and raised in Bucks. Both of my parents were born in Northeast Philadelphia and raised in Bucks. My grandparents lived in Philadelphia as well. Even my husband, who was raised in Bucks, has family roots in Philadelphia.
So when I went to college in Lancaster County seven years ago, I didn’t think I would be away for so long. Little did I know that I would spend an additional three years there! Each time we came home, something was different. But to me, no town showed more redevelopments and more exciting change more than Newtown.
For example – a few years ago, my parents bought me a charm bracelet for my college graduation. My mom told me, “We got it from Bernie Robbins in Newtown, so we will have to go there to get it sized.”
“What’s Bernie Robbins?” I said.
“It’s a jewelry store in a new shopping center next to the Green Parrot.”
It had been a little while since I drove down State Street, and I had a difficult time imagining where it would be. But lo and behold, there was a brand-new, beautiful building on State Street.
Flash forward to three years later and I’m running some errands in the Village at Newtown. I noticed the exterior of the buildings was a new shade of white.
It’s crazy to me that so much in the area has changed in seven years. I was constantly thinking “Was I really gone for that long?!”
That thought led to another thought about several conversations I’ve had with my family about Bucks County and Newtown through the years. My mom is a Council Rock graduate and in the 1980s, there was no Council Rock North and Council Rock South. It was just Council Rock High School. Council Rock South was still farmland, as were many areas around Newtown in the 70s and 80s.
And my grandmother mentioned when she moved out of Northeast Philadelphia and into Bucks in the 1960s, her friends had said: “What do you mean, it’s only farmland out there!” The only stores around were mom-and-pop stores on State Street. Wanted to shop at a department store? You’d have to drive down to Cottman Avenue for that.
Hoover's Drug Store, which is now the Starbucks. Photo from Tricentennial book 1984. Courtesy of Growing up in Newtown Facebook page.
From its humble beginnings as a small farmland community in the 1960s to the sprawling and bustling community it is today, Newtown and Bucks County as a whole have come so far. The longer I was away from home, the more curious I became at how “things used to be.”
As Newtown continues to redevelop, I’m very much looking forward to exploring the area again -- by sight and by mouth. My eyes are on Melt Shop for their grilled cheese sandwiches and Turning Point for their pancake flight. I encourage you to explore these new places as well!
Learn more about Newtown's history, restaurants, shopping and hotels here.