Over the river and through the woods: Stagecoach travel in Monroe County

It was a natural evolution from sharing rides and offering a little space in a wagon to charging customers for hauling freight or for passenger seats on a stagecoach. Read More...

1924: Motorcycle races come to Monroe County

The weekend of June 6-8, 1924 was full of two-wheeled excitement for Monroe County residents when the borough of Stroudsburg hosted a weekend of professional and amateur motorcycle races at the Stroudsburg Fairgrounds. Read More...

19th century banking in Monroe County

In 1857, the Stroudsburg Bank became the first official bank in Monroe County. Before this time, there were no banking institutions in Monroe County, and local residents had to travel to Easton for their banking needs. Read More...

Local leap year happenings in history

The year 2016 is a leap year, and tomorrow, February 29th, is leap day. In reviewing some of the historical records, many local “leap day” happenings occurred over the years. Read More...

Man’s best friend: Dog licensing in Monroe County

Many Monroe County citizens, myself included, are dog lovers. One of the responsibilities of dog ownership is ensuring that our pets are properly registered. Locally, licensing man’s best friend dates back to the late 1800s. Read More...

Keystone Shortway (Interstate 80) comes to Monroe County

Every day, thousands of motorists travel Interstate 80 through Monroe County. Interstate 80 traverses the United States, beginning in the east in New Jersey and ending in the west in California, and 311 of the nearly 3,000 miles of the highway are located in Pennsylvania. Plans for what became known as the Keystone Shortway began in the early 1950s. Read More...

Dying in Monroe County: Old time disease names

As Halloween looms, there is always a feeling of macabre in the air. Neighborhood children will don costumes of zombies, mummies, or ghosts in hopes of trick-or-treat goodies. But the genealogical and historical importance of death cannot be taken lightly. Read More...

Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg founded in the 1730s

The Borough of Stroudsburg’s history began about 1730, when a diverse group of settlers started to arrive from the area of Kingston, N.Y. 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...

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...

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...

Barrett Township celebrates its Sesquicentennial

Barrett Township will celebrate its 150th birthday at the end of this month. This northern Monroe County township was officially created from parts of Price and Paradise Townships on December 31, 1859, although the area had been settled much earlier. Read More...

History of Local Temperance Movement

As early as the 1830s, Monroe County citizens became concerned with the effects of alcohol on the community. Public drunkenness and disorderly conduct were becoming more prominent. Read More...

Daylight Saving Time Affected Monroe County

Daylight Saving Time and its enactment in Monroe County have an interesting history. In 1929, Pennsylvania decided that each county would determine if it would participate in Daylight Saving or not. Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg could not agree. Read More...

How Monroe County Got Its Name

On April 1, 1836, after nine long years of debate and discussion, Monroe County was formed from pieces of land cut from northern Northampton County and southern Pike County. Read More...

Suffrage Movement has Local Ties

The local Suffrage Movement was headed by Mrs. Althea Staples, wife of Judge Charles B. Staples. In 1914, Mrs. Staples and other local women formed the Stroudsburg Women’s Civic Club, which became active in the community and established committees to report on social issues of the day. Read More...

How Stroudsburg Became County Seat

A heated special election in 1836 determined the county seat for the newly formed Monroe County. Three towns were suggested to serve as the new county’s seat: Dutotsburg (now Delaware Water Gap), Kellersville in Hamilton Township, and Stroudsburg. They were all considered and placed on the ballot for a vote by the men of the area. Each town had its merits. Read More...