Poconos history is rich and layered. Before it was discovered as a holiday destination for the whole family, the area saw its fair share of dramatic events. In the 17th century, when the Dutch settlers first arrived at the area, they found many Native Americans already calling it home. But that didn’t stop the Dutch from making their presence known. Five years later the English arrived and chased the Dutch out of the mountains. But it would take about a hundred years before the first permanent residents, both English and Germans, established the first town and settled in for good.
Poconos History: 19th Century Industry
It’s not clear what persuaded the first European settlers to take residence in the Pocono Mountains. But it wasn’t for tourism, that’s for sure. And it would take another century before someone took interest in the potential the area has. As the nearby large cities of New York and Philadelphia grew and prospered, people started to look to the mountains to offer a break from the stifling summer heat. Being only a short drive away, tourists flocked to the area. This led to the first hotel built by Anthony Dutot in 1829. Finally, tourists had a place to stay. Shortly after, a Pennsylvania power company built a dam on the river to harness electricity and by doing so created Lake Wallenpaupack. Industry and tourism were building the Poconos.
Here Come the Skiers
By the end of WWII and right before Baby Boomers arrived at the scene, high standards of living drove thousands of tourists to the Poconos. It’s safe to assume that many of that generation were conceived in these mountains as honeymooners and skiers visited all year round. Even if there were no resorts yet, and skiers and vacationers only had some cabins and rustic lodges to stay in, that didn’t discourage them. But where there’s demand, the market will supply. By the end of the 1940s, a few resorts shyly opened for business and were followed by more such establishments during the decade that followed. It was official now. The Pocono Mountains were claimed by tourists.
The Honeymoon Capital of the World
Because the media loves to nickname people and places left and right, the Poconos got their nickname during the sixties when heart-shaped tubs were introduced into one of the resorts there. The publicity kept the momentum of tourists going strong throughout the rest of the 20th century. And when the 21st century arrived, it brought waterpark resorts with it. The fun-loving tourists will never lose interest in Poconos history.
Long before tourists discovered the area and wanted to explore Poconos museums, it had been a home for Native Americans and Dutch, English, and German settlers. But once city folks realized they had a first-rate summer resort in their backyard, it was all about tourism and entertainment for that mountain area. Call us today to book your vacation home!