Stroud Mansion houses diverse history

For the
Pocono Record

Stroud Mansion, built more than 200 years ago, has been used for many purposes, including a tavern, library and local meeting place.

“It was built by Col. Jacob Stroud in 1795 for his eldest son, John Stroud,” said Amy Leiser, executive director of Monroe County Historical Association. “(John) didn't like living here so it was passed down to the next eldest son, Daniel, who lived here for a long time.”

According to Leiser, the house was passed down through the Stroud family, with different owners making their own changes to the house.

Beginning in 1837, a tavern was in the house under a variety of operators who leased the space from the Stroud family into the 1850s. In 1847, Margaret Eagles, a widow, opened a hotel in the mansion.

In addition to being used as a place of residence and commercial purpose, Stroud Mansion was also the meeting place of the local chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution as well as several community groups.

Stroud Mansion was even rented out as apartments for awhile.

In 1920, the building was purchased by the Stroudsburg Civic Club, which incorporated the building as Stroud Community House in 1922. Monroe County Historical Society began meeting in the building. In 1994, Monroe County Historical Association received control of Stroud Mansion from the Stroud Community House board of trustees.

“It’s one of the oldest houses,” Leiser said, on why MCHA inhabits Stroud Mansion. “It was built by the founder of Stroudsburg, and now this building houses the history of the entire county from artifacts to documents.”

Visitors are welcome to visit the 13-room house. Some of the more unusual exhibits include a tool and weapon room, an antique toy room and a large collection of American Indian artifacts.

“The museum is always changing. We are always updating it with new exhibits and rearranging furniture on a rotating basis,” Leiser said.

The mansion also features a research library, which is open to the public.

The colonial kitchen is another room in the house and is Leiser’s personal favorite.

“I’m partial to the colonial kitchen. I think it represents everyday life history. A lot of people think history is memorizing dates and battles, and I think the social everyday history is just as interesting,” Leiser said.

“Can you imagine the conversations around the kitchen, where all the juicy gossip was?”

The five most interesting artifacts at Stroud Mansion, as listed by Amy Leiser, executive director:
1 Witch stump
2 Dinner invitation from President George Washington to Col. Jacob Stroud
3 Colonial toaster
4 Victorian baby-walker
5 Roller skates with wooden wheels