Fort Penn played important role in local history

In 1775, Jacob Stroud, a military veteran of the French and Indian War, was placed in charge of the Lower Smithfield Military Company. He began this post at the rank of captain and was ultimately promoted to colonel. One year later, Stroud was ordered by the executive council to build a stockade around his stone home. This fortified structure, which became part of Jacob Stroud’s command, was called Fort Penn. Read More...

Monroe County’s frontier forts: Fort Norris

Fort Norris was located in the western reaches of what is now Monroe County, and was named for Isaac Norris, a prominent Philadelphia Quaker who served as speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and was later known as the man who commissioned the Liberty Bell. Read More...

Monroe County’s frontier forts: Fort Hyndshaw

From December 1755 to January 1756, frontier forts were built in and around present-day Stroudsburg and Shawnee-on-Delaware, but there was a necessity to protect the settlers who lived in the northeastern-most corner of the area. Benjamin Franklin, who was staying in Bethlehem, recognized the need for another fortress and instructed Capt. James Van Etten to erect one. This outpost, known as Fort Hyndshaw, represented the farthest extent of the northeastern defensive line of Pennsylvania’s forts. Fort Hyndshaw was in present-day Middle Smithfield Township, just south of the present-day Monroe/Pike County border, near Bushkill Creek. The fort was named for James Hyndshaw, a European colonist who lived nearby. Read More...

Monroe County’s frontier forts: Fort DePue

In 1755, an uneasy feeling between the native peoples and early settlers eventually made its way to the farm owned by the family of Nicholas DePue, one of the earliest white settlers of the Delaware Water Gap area. Samuel DePue, one of Nicholas’s son’s, had replaced the original log homestead with a large stone home. Because of its prime location near a reliable water source, one of Benjamin Franklin’s first acts in reaction to the growing hostilities between natives and settlers was to insist that the DePue homestead be occupied by a military force. Read More...

Benjamin Franklin and his tie to Monroe County’s frontier forts

In 1755, the Pennsylvania Assembly put Benjamin Franklin and James Hamilton in charge of creating a chain of forts along the Blue Mountains to protect citizens against attacks from native Americans. Franklin traveled to Bethlehem on December 18, 1755, to oversee the creation of these forts. The first to be built in the area now known as Monroe County was Fort Hamilton. 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...

Pennsylvania’s infamous ‘Walking Purchase’

When Thomas Penn, one of William Penn's sons, sought additional lands from native Americans for the Pennsylvania colony, it was agreed between the two parties that this new land grant would contain a tract of land beginning at Wrightstown and extending northward as far as a man could walk in one and one-half days. This became known as the infamous "Walking Purchase." Read More...

Historical Marker dedicated in Smithfield Township

On Friday, July 2, 2010, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, together with the Smithfield Township Board of Supervisors, the Middle Smithfield Township Board of Supervisors, and the Eastern Monroe Regional Commission dedicated an official State Historical Marker commemorating the Shawnee/Minisink Archaeological Site at Rivers Edge Park in Minisink Hills. Read More...

The Legend of Lover’s Leap

An old tale from Monroe County’s history recounts the legend of a love between and Indian princess and an early Dutch settler. The story, which may or may not be true, was first recorded in Luke W. Brodhead’s 1870 book, The Delaware Water Gap, Its Legends and Early History. As the story goes, Princess Winona was the beloved and only daughter of Chief Wissinoming, the noble leader of the Minisink. While the chief ruled all of the land along the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers to the Atlantic Ocean, the headquarters of the tribe was located near Shawnee Island and present-day Smithfield Township, Monroe County. Read More...

Dansbury Mission spreads Moravian ideals to East Stroudsburg

Dansbury Mission
The area now known as East Stroudsburg has a rich and early history. East Stroudsburg was settled by the Brodhead family in 1737, while Stroudsburg was not settled until Jacob Stroud purchased his first piece of land in 1769. Read More...

William Penn and Lenape Chief Tammany

The Lenni Lenape were the first inhabitants of the Pocono Mountains area. Long before European settlers called Monroe County home, these Native Americans occupied the land. Indeed, the name Lenni Lenape translates into “the original peoples,” and the term Pocono in the native Lenape tongue means “a river between two mountains.” Many times, the Lenape were referred to as Delaware because they lived along the Delaware River. The Wolf Clan (also known as Munsee or Minsi) occupied land in what is now Monroe County. Their area stretched northward along the Delaware River from the point where the Lehigh River meets the Delaware in what is now Easton. Read More...