A. Mitchell Palmer: Controversial national figure

Turning left after entering the front door of the Stroud Mansion brings you into the Erdman Room, where hangs a 4’x6’ oil painting of Alexander Mitchell Palmer. It had been in the Smithsonian Institution before being donated to MCHA by his daughter, Mary Palmer Lichtenberg, and grandson, Mitchell Palmer Lichtenberg, in 1982. 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...

Celebrating Cullen Yates: Fundraiser paints picture of Poconos artist

Large undertakings often have humble beginnings, and the impetus for the upcoming art show and auction at Shawnee Inn, "Cullen Yates: 99 Years at Shawnee Inn," is just such a case. It all began because folks at Monroe County Historical Association decided the upstairs of Stroud Mansion — its headquarters — needed a new coat of paint, and this has morphed into a celebration of the most lauded painter in northeastern Pennsylvania, with perhaps the largest collection of Yates paintings assembled since the artist's death in 1945. Read More...

Graves photographs Delaware Water Gap

Delaware Water Gap, both as a town and a natural geological landmark, has been featured as the subject of numerous pieces of artwork, stories, poems, and photographs. For years, visitors have been drawn to this small mountain community. Jesse A. Graves was no different. 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...

Monroe County’s first world record

On Easter Sunday in 1898, a special edition of the Stroudsburg Daily Times was printed, and in the process, a world record was broken. Only hours before, the paper used for the newspaper had been a living tree. It was all done to commemorate the Stroudsburg Daily Times’ fourth anniversary. 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...

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...

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...

Swiftwater laboratory starts with Col. Slee

In 1897, Richard Slee established Pocono Biological Laboratories in Swiftwater — his first client was the U.S. Army. Slee’s lab was the first and only company in the United States to produce France’s improved smallpox vaccine. Only one year later, Slee provided all of the vaccines used in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898. Read More...

The early days of ‘Penn’s Woods’

March 1st through the 8th marks the week-long celebration of Pennsylvania’s birth. In 1681, King Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter to establish a colony in the New World, and it seems appropriate now to take a short look at the man and his colony. Read More...

E.E. Norton: Humble Beginnings, Elegant End


One of the most common inquiries we receive at the Monroe County Historical Association, especially in October, is “Who is buried in that large mausoleum in the Stroudsburg Cemetery?” Read More...

Joseph Jefferson as Rip Van Winkle

Monroe County has been a destination for famous people for years. From presidents to actors, many have come to enjoy the relaxing environment offered in the Pocono Mountains. One such notable actor of the 19th century that came to Monroe County, specifically to Paradise Valley, was Joseph Jefferson. Read More...

The Smith Family of Stroudsburg

In the archives of the Monroe County Historical Association are photographs of two African American sisters. One photograph is labeled “Laura B. Smith – 8 years old,” and the other is marked with “Florence V. Smith.” These two images have interested me for years, and through CASS’s inquiry for pictures, I was able to research who these two little girls were. Read More...

History of the Wedding Dress


Wearing a white wedding dress is a relatively modern fashion. The tradition of the white dress began when Queen Victoria donned a magnificent white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. White dresses, although sought-after by the wealthy, were not available to everyone, and the fashion did not become widespread until decades later.
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W.R. Van Vliet's Canning Jars

Monroe County has had its share of individuals who have worked to make life a little better, or easier, for everyone. Warren R. Van Vliet was one such individual. During his inventive career, Van Vliet engineered canning jars that were better able to preserve foods than the other canning jars of his day. Read More...

Brodhead Murder: Part II Trial & Punishment

Part II • Theodore Brodhead was killed and another man, his brother, Thomas Brodhead, was wounded by William Brooks and Charles Orme. After being caught in Cherry Valley a few hours following the murder, Brooks and Orme were escorted to the Stroudsburg jail to await trial. Read More...

Brodhead Murder: Part I The Crime

Part I • On September 25, 1868, Monroe County citizens were shocked by a Delaware Water Gap tragedy in which one man, Theodore Brodhead, was killed and another man, his brother, Thomas Brodhead, was wounded. Read More...

Kmart Founder’s Life Begins, Ends Here

Sebastian Spering Kresge was raised on the family farm in Kresgeville, named for Kresge’s ancestors, and had a strong Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing consisting of a belief in hard work, thrift, and religion. By the age of 10, Kresge had already developed a strong sense of business. He started with a handful of such small stores called Kresge’s Five and Dime, and through profitable business practices, he went on to form the well-known retail company, K-Mart.  Read More...

A. Mitchell Palmer: Red Scare Infamy

A. Mitchell Palmer of Stroudsburg played a role in local, state and national politics that will not be forgotten by history. He was a lawyer, a Congressman, a newspaper owner, and considered as a Democratic presidential candidate. The height of his fame – and infamy — came in his role as U.S. attorney general under President Woodrow Wilson. Read More...

Stroudsburg’s ‘Sheep to Suit’ Record

Thomas Kitson, owner of the Stroudsburg Woolen Mill, had his eye on an unusual prize. He felt he could lower the world-time-record for manufacturing a full suit of clothing, beginning with shearing sheep and ending with someone donning the attire. At the time, the record of 8 hours and 0 minutes was held by a mill in Scotland. On May 18, 1898, Kitson set out to break that record. 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...