Historic Highlights - Spring 2011

Early Days: The First Inhabitants

Long before the Pocono Mountains became a destination for families, honeymooners, nature-lovers and relaxation-seekers, the area was inhabited by the Delaware, Iroquois, Shawnee, Minisink, Lenape and Paupack Indians. In 1659, the Dutch established settlements near the famous Delaware Water Gap, but were forced to leave by the English in 1664. By 1742, English and German settlers were arriving in the Pocono Mountains and the first permanent residence was established by Nicholas Depui in 1725 at Shawnee.

 

1829 - 1927:  First Hotel Established and an Industry is Born

The Delaware Water Gap was the site of the first boarding house hotel, established in 1829 by Anthony Dutot, who initiated what would become a wildly successful resort industry. By 1900, thousands of visitors from the growing cities of Philadelphia and New York escaped to the high altitudes for summer vacations. In the upper regions of the Pocono Mountains, the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (now PPL Electric Utilities, Inc.) began the construction of what is now the third largest man-made lake in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack. In 1926, PPL Electric Utilities, Inc. dammed the creek and built a hydro-electric plant and in doing so, a 5,600-acre lake was created with 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline. During Prohibition, resorts of the Poconos described themselves as "Friendly Mountain Resorts" where card-playing or games of chance were not allowed and golf, tennis and other sports were not permitted on Sundays.