Delaware Water Gap and Mount Pocono born from tourism

By the late 1880s, the small boroughs of Delaware Water Gap and Mount Pocono were the two largest vacation destinations in Pennsylvania. Visitors descended on these Pocono destination by the thousands each summer, arriving by train from more urban areas. Visitors leaving the local train stations scattered to stay at the many hotels and boarding houses that the area had to offer. Read More...

Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg founded in the 1730s

The Borough of Stroudsburg’s history began in 1730 as Peter LaBar established his homestead, a log cabin, on the corner of present-day Main and Ninth Streets. Unfortunately, the log cabin is no longer standing. It was not until decades later, when Jacob Stroud purchased land in the area, that Stroudsburg emerged as a developed town. The area now known as East Stroudsburg has a rich and early history that dates back to the 18th century. East Stroudsburg was originally named Dansbury after Daniel Brodhead who settled there with his family in 1737. Read More...

Brief history of Tunkhannock and Barrett townships

Tunkhannock Township is located in the northwestern portion of Monroe County and was formed in 1856 from lands taken from Coolbaugh Township. Tunkhannock is translated from the Native American word “tank-hanne” meaning “small stream.” Barrett Township is located in the northern portion of Monroe County and was officially created from parts of Price and Paradise townships on December 31, 1859, although the area had been settled much earlier. Read More...

Brief history of Paradise and Eldred townships

Paradise Township was divided from a portion of Price Township on November 26, 1848, receiving its name for the beautiful natural scenery it included. Eldred Township was named for Nathaniel B. Eldred who served as a Monroe County judge from 1849 to 1853. Read More...

Founded in 1840s: Brief history of Polk and Jackson townships

Polk Township is located in the western portion of Monroe County and was formed on September 26, 1846, when it was removed from a portion of Chestnuthill Township. The newly-formed township was named for James K. Polk, the 11th president of the United States. Jackson Township was incorporated on December 13, 1843 and was likely named for the seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson. Read More...

Founded in 1830: Brief history of Price and Tobyhanna townships

Price Township and Tobyhanna Township were both founded in 1830. Price Township was named for the first European settler in the area, John Price. Tobyhanna Township's name means “stream lined with alders,” which was taken from the Tobyhanna Creek, a tributary of the Lehigh River. Read More...

Founded in 1817: Brief history of Stroud and Ross townships

Stroud Township and Ross Township were both established in 1817. Stroud Township was named for Jacob Stroud, the founder of the Borough of Stroudsburg. Ross Township was named for Judge John Ross who was a justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Read More...

Brief history of Coolbaugh and Pocono townships

Coolbaugh Township was named for Associate Judge John Coolbaugh who owned large tracts of land in Middle Smithfield Township. Pocono Township was originally part of Northampton County and was created by a petition of the courts of Northampton County in November of 1816. The word “Pocono” is a native American term meaning “the stream that runs through two mountains” and was first spelled “Pocohanne.” Read More...

The importance of Poconos history

Often, when we think about studying history, we think of sitting in a classroom, listening to a lecture or reading from a text, memorizing names, dates, locations, battlefield tactics, etc. But the study of history is much, much more than that — it's personal, alive and relevant. Read More...

Famous graves in Monroe County

Here are the final resting places of some of Monroe County’s most interesting and historical personages. Read More...

Monroe County's off-the-beaten-path gems

If you think all you need to know about history you learned in junior high, think again. Monroe County has some history that is not only worth reading about but visiting, too. Here are some off-the-beaten-path places to visit. Read More...

Items of interest in Monroe County through the years

A timeline of interesting events over the history of Monroe County, from the mid-1700s to 1990. Read More...

History of Chestnuthill and Middle Smithfield townships

Chestnuthill Township, located in the western portion of Monroe County, was named for its once-abundant chestnut trees, which lined many roadsides and dotted the rolling countryside of the area. Middle Smithfield Township was parceled out of the northern area of Smithfield Township and was part of Pike County until 1814. Read More...

Our earliest townships: Smithfield and Hamilton

Smithfield Township was founded in 1748 and is named for John Smith, an early colonist who owned large tracts of land in the area. Hamilton Township was created on Dec. 24, 1762 and is the second-oldest township in Monroe County. Read More...

Before Monroe County came the Lenni Lenape

Long before Europeans settled in modern-day Monroe County, the Lenni Lenape called this area home. These Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the Pocono Mountains, having settled in the area over 10,000 year ago. The name Lenni Lenape translates into “the original peoples,” and the term Pocono in the native Lenape tongue means “a river between two mountains.” Because the Lenape did not have a written language, their history was passed from generation to generation by storytellers. The ancestors of the Lenape, the true “original peoples,” were said to have come from the great sea in the west thousands of years before Christopher Columbus. Read More...

Happy 175th Birthday, Monroe County!

On April 1, 1836, after nine long years of debate and discussion, Monroe County was formed from pieces of land cut from Northampton County and southern Pike County. Although settled by some of the earliest-arriving European colonists, Monroe County was not one of the earliest-formed counties in Pennsylvania. It was the 53rd recognized county out of 67 statewide. Years before its official recognition as a separate entity, residents living in this developing area petitioned the legislature to create the new county. Read More...