Monroe Takes A Road Trip
What a jarring experience! Here I was snoozing away in a corner of the Colonial Stroudsburg Traveling Trunk when I was rudely awakened. I cautiously crawled to the partially open trunk lid and found that I was being transported to an unknown destination. Well, never say that Monroe Mouse is not ready for an adventure. I just relaxed and waited to see what would happen next.
Thirty minutes later I arrived at Pleasant Valley High School and soon realized that the MCHA Education Committee had gathered there. Well, at least I knew I was in the company of friends. The day proved to be quite informative. Having spent most of my life in the Stroud Mansion, I was excited about learning more about this section of Monroe County.
As part of the day-long workshop for Pleasant Valley staff, Barbara Braithwaite presented a map lesson on one village in the district. Participants drew on information from the 1875 map of Kresgeville to create an image of the village more than a century ago. Even those participants who had lived in the village for years were surprised to see what a thriving community it had been in the 19th century.
A variety of mills all dependent on running water dot-ted the community. Water was diverted from the Pohopoko Creek to several millruns that fed the huge wooden wheels that drove the gears of the mills. If a saw mill and two lumber yards are indicators of growth, Kresgeville and the surrounding area were certainly expanding in this period. Add to the above two grist mills, a tannery, several hotels, a church, school, and stores and it appears that the town was also pro-viding goods and services to surrounding farms and travelers.
Barbara had visited Kresgeville prior to the workshop and photographed many of the locations on the old map. Participants worked in groups to identify the buildings and their locations with the aid of the 1870 map. They were enthused about doing similar activities with their students using a variety of villages in the school district.
The biggest mystery for most was the building pictured above. Barbara concluded from the vents on the roof and the map location that it was probably the wintergreen mill. For those who did not know what wintergreen was Barbara passed out wintergreen mints. Lucky for me one landed on the floor within my reach. All of this made for a refreshing and informative day.
Special thanks to Nancy May, Polk Township Supervisor who provided background information for Barbara’s lesson. In addition, Barbara used the extensive archives of MCHA to develop her lesson.