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Best Poconos Rental House, Pocono Pines, PA

History of the Poconos

You have always wondered about the history of the Pocono Mountains and how it became such a modern day Mecca. You may be surprised at some of the facts that we will share with you, some you may already know and some that will come as a surprise. Please sit back for a moment and imagine that you are in an old mine cart, rickety and made of rough steel and in front of you lays a very old metal track. Hold on, as we take you through some of the most historical facts that happened in the past.

Have you ever wondered who the very first settlers were of the Pocono Mountains? It was the Native Indians who later became known as Native Americans.

The very famous “Pennsylvania’s Walking Purchase” came about due to an arrangement made between one of Thomas Penn’s sons and the Native Indians, for Mr. Penn to purchase some land for Americans and the two parties reached an agreement. The Natives agreed to provide a track of land starting at Wrightstown and extending northward as far as a man could walk in one and one-half days. What some people do not know is that the Indians felt that they were cheated after this agreement was made and began to rise up against the Americans and this caused Benjamin Franklin to order Forts to be built along the Frontier in BushkillShawnee,Stroudsburg and Kresgeville.

The Dutch were the next people to try to settle in the Pocono Mountains in 1659 near theDelaware Water Gap but the Dutch were forced out not even 5 years later by the English in 1664.

Has an army ever crossed into the Pocono Mountains? Yes, there has been. General John Sullivan’s expedition (1779) was the very first Continental Army to cross the Pocono Mountains and Grey Towers in Milford is the Birthplace of the American Conservation Movement. The troops marched from Scotia to Tannersville, what is now known as Sullivan’s Trail.

Out of the 4 countries that were formed and make up the region of the Poconos, did you know that Wayne was the first to be formed, on March 21, 1798? It was cut from NorthamptonCounty and named Wayne County in honor of General Anthony Wayne.

Pike County was established on March 26, 1814 from the land in Wayne County and was named in honor of Colonel Zebulon Pike, a hero of the war of 1812 and who later discoveredPikes Peak. And did you know that Pike County obtained the blood stained flag that Abraham Lincoln rested his head on at the time of his death at Ford’s Theater?

Part of Pike County and Northampton County, Monroe County was formed on April 1st, 1836 and named for President James Monroe. In 1799, Colonel Jacob Stroud founded Stroudsburgand built his home at Ninth and Main streets that is now known as the Monroe County Historical Association.

Northampton and Monroe Countries gave land for the Carbon County on March 13, 1843 and was so named for the carbon that is the basic element of the area’s lush coal deposits. The County seat is Jim Thorpe, which originally were 2 towns (Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk) until they merged in 1954 and were named in honor of Jim Thorpe who was a famous Olympic Athlete. The Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Lehigh University were both founded by Millionaire A. Packer who built a beautiful Victorian Mansion in 1868 in Mauch Chunk and this home is open to tourists daily.

Honesdale was named after Philip Hone, the owner of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company and coal was brought to Honesdale by a gravity railroad from the mines in Lackawanna Valley and transported by the canal to New York. By the mid 1850’s more then a million tons of coal passed through Honesdale.

Here is some information about some of the famous people that have traveled through and vacationed in the Pocono Mountains:

James Wilson, was the only one to sign the Declaration of Independence &The Constitution of the United States and serve on the First Supreme Court.

Robert Morris was the financier of the American Revolution and also George Washington’s best friend.

General Lyman Lemnitzer was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under JFK.

Did you know that John F. Kennedy made a trip to the Poconos just before his assassination in 1963?

Over time, more then a dozen American Presidents have made ties to the Pocono Mountains.

President George W. Bush made history in Monroe County when he gave a speech on Veterans Day, November 11, 2005 to 2,500 dignitaries, veterans and employees at Tobyhanna Army Depot. He became the first sitting President to ever visit Monroe County.

The first boarding house style hotel was built by the Delaware Water Gap in 1829 by Anthony Dutot and this of course spurred many more establishments and thus capturing thousands of tourists and locals to make the Poconos their vacationing spot or their permanent residence.

During the time of Prohibition, the resorts of the Poconos described themselves as being “friendly mountain resorts” were card playing or games of chance were not permitted and golf, tennis and other sports were not allowed on Sundays.

During World War ll, many GI’s and their families took their leave and made their way to the Poconos. This is about the time that the Poconos took on a romantic tone and started to appeal to honeymooners and newlyweds. The first honeymoon resort was established by Rudolf Von Hoevenberg in 1945, very rustic and country feeling cabins and a main lodge calling it “The Farm on the Hill”.

More elaborate resorts started opening in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The first commercial ski area was Big Boulder established in 1946 and by 1956, the first patent application for making snow by blowing water through a nozzle was implemented.

In 1968, Congress passed the National Trails System Act, making the Appalachian Trail the very first National Scenic Trail (232 miles of the Appalachian Trail lays in Pennsylvania and 45 miles lay in the Poconos).

As your mine cart comes to a stop, it does not mean that your journey into the past has come to an end, you only need to visit the Pocono Mountains to experience all that the Poconos has available to you, to take you back in time. Your ticket is your imagination and your journey only ends when you are ready, or until the next visit to the Pocono Mountains.

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