You know a county is a big deal when it has its own nickname. PhilCo doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but MontCo? Well, that’s something special. In honor of Montgomery County’s issuance of its 100th gay marriage license, here are 8 more things we love about Montgomery County.
—Nicole Soll and Amanda Wolkin
1. Green space
Skyscrapers getting you down? Montgomery County owns more than 6,000 acres of open space, including nine parks and 60 miles of regional trails. We’re pretty sure there’s no other place where you can just hike to a colonial ironmaster’s home.
King of Prussia Mall. Enough said. (But if getting lost inside the biggest shopping center on the East Coast isn’t your thing, Montgomery County is also known for its ritzy boutiques, particularly in Bala Cynwyd.)
With major local employers like Johnson & Johnson and Aetna, MontCo is more than just a close commute to the city — really, you could practically hike to your office (see: Green Space.) With its strong job force (and taxes generated by those jobs), Mongomery County is one of fewer than 30 counties in the U.S. to have the highest credit rating of ‘AAA,’ as determined by Standard & Poor’s.
Voted No. 9 on Forbes‘ Best Places to Raise a Family list — which took into account standardized test scores, cost of living and median home prices — MontCo beat out every single other place in Pennsylvania. With over 20 schools in Philly Mag’s Top 100 Public Schools list, not to mention plenty of opportunities for family fun (Civil War re-enactments, anyone?), Little Timmy is sure to have an idyllic childhood frolicking in Haverford’s hills.
Perm or no perm, Montgomery County has blessed us with a fantastic male specimen: People‘s Sexiest Man, Bradley Cooper. Some other notable MontCo natives include Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, political commentator Chris Matthews, comedian Bob Saget, singer P!nk, Second Lady Jill Biden, and so many others that we could make this list only about them.
6. Court Cases
Fighting for liberal values throughout time, one of MontCo’s most famous court cases came in 1963 in Abington Township when a student, Ellory Schempp, and his family filed a lawsuit against the School District for their practice of reading the Bible in public schools. The case, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, went to the Supreme Court where it was ruled that prayer in public schools was unconstitutional. We imagine Schempp would be proud of MontCo’s current liberal crusade.
In addition to the fellas giving out marriage licenses, Montgomery County is home to Steve McCarter, the state representative that co-sponsored a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Pa. Although McCarter also represents sections of Philadelphia County, he lives in Glenside, so we consider that a point for Team MontCo! Congresswoman and gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz also currently lives in and represents part of Montgomery Country.
Montgomery County boasts more than 140 sites on the National Register of Historic Sites. One of the largest is Valley Forge National Park, the 3,500 acre area where 2,500 American Revolutionary soldiers spent the winter of 1777-78, including George Washington. You can visit today and watch as re-enactors show you how much you would have hated living back then.