Pocono Mountain House & Springs
Early postcard of the Pocono Mountain House and Springs
By Amy Leiser, Executive Director
Monroe County Historical Association
and William Grumbine,
Coolbaugh Township Historical Association
Since the turn of the 20th Century, the Poconos has become a well-known get-away for many. From the grand old hotels to the quaint boarding houses, this area has lured vacationers for years. One of the largest resorts that served visitors to these Mountains was located along Route 611 in present day Paradise Township and Mount Pocono Borough.
The Pocono Mountain House and Springs was this resort, but it began in the late 1800s as a small sportsmen’s club. In 1874, Edward E. Hooker of Cortland County, N.Y., along with a Mr. Stokes, purchased 400 acres of land known as the Jacob Teel estate. On the property, Hooker and Stokes erected a clubhouse for fellow sportsmen and themselves. This clubhouse would eventually become the Pocono Mountain House and Springs.
By 1876, Hooker purchased Mr. Stokes’ share of the business, moved permanently to the area with his family, and in 1878, began to turn the clubhouse into a larger hotel.
Over the next seven years, the Pocono Mountain House and Springs had become so popular that Hooker had to continue building additions to the original structure and property. By 1900, the Pocono Mountain House and Springs consisted of the large main hotel, three cottages (each cottage held 30 guests), stables and barns. Located toward the rear of the hotel was a natural freshwater spring, which fed a pond and a springhouse. The springhouse was used to keep food cool during the warm summer months.
Interestingly, most of the Pocono Mountain House and Springs property was located in then Coolbaugh Township, while the springhouse was in Paradise Township.
With the addition of the three cottages, the Pocono Mountain House and Springs was tied with the Kittatinny House, located in Delaware Water Gap for the number of guests it could serve. Both resorts, at the turn of the century, were the largest in Monroe County boasting accommodations for 300 guests.
The main structure was five stories high and had 17,000 square feet of verandas from which visitors could see 65 miles. The cost per week for single occupancy was $17.50 to $25 per week.
Activities for patrons included spacious lawns for walking, tennis courts, golf, boating, billiards, horseback riding and more. For the sport enthusiast, fishing in streams filled with trout and woods for excellent partridge shooting were available. The clean water provided by the spring was a major attraction for the resort.
An early advertisement for the Pocono Mountain House and Springs report that “hundreds come each year to drink of the health and strength to be found in its crystal purity, as it bubbles with natural effervescence from the mountain’s heart. Chemical analysis has proved it to contain the wonderfully low rate of one-sixteenth of a grain of solids per gallon.”
In April 1915, Edward E. Hooker died, and his son, Edward Jr. took over managing the resort along with his aunt and cousin. By 1933, the Pocono Mountain House and Springs closed to the public. Hooker family members remained on the property until the 1960s. In 1974, the property had fallen into such disrepair that the structures had to be burned down by the Pocono Mountain Fire Department.
The foundation of the Pocono Mountain House and Springs is still visible. The only remaining structure of the old resort is the Springhouse, which is in excellent condition. Water is still running through the Springhouse down to a small pond surrounded with flowering rhododendron.