Are you a history buff? Then you’ll love learning more about history in the Poconos! Step back in time when you check out all the historic sites, buildings, and events to discover Poconos’ history!
When you’re done reading, come see for yourself why the history of the Poconos is so intriguing. Don’t forget to request access to our free Pocono Mountains Vacation Guide! You’ll find all the great spots to dine, shop, and explore!
Why Not Take a Little Ride Through History in the Poconos?
Did you know you can take a trip through history from Wilkes Barre to Levittown to visit the unique historical sites that have shaped modern-day living and tourism in the Poconos?
It all began in 1659 when the Dutch forced Native Americans, the original inhabitants, out of their homeland. As the Dutch forced out the Native Americans, they settled in the land near the famous Delaware Water Gap. But soon after, English and German settlers began to arrive in 1725. By 1742 English and German settlers had forced the Dutch out and established permanent residences.
1. Coal mining became extremely popular in the 1800s.
Soon after, immigrants flocked to the Poconos to work in the coal mines of the Poconos region, specifically the town of Wilkes-Barre. This transformed The Poconos from farmland to a bustling city. Today you can Visit Wilkes-Barre, the home of the anthracite fields. If you want to learn more about Wilkes-Barre’s past, check out the Luzerne County Historical Society Museum, filled with Native American exhibits, anthracite coal displays, and presentations on the local culture.
2. Barges and steam railroads were once a regular appearance in the town of White Haven.
The town of White Haven was centered between two major transportation hubs, including the Lehigh Canal and the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad. Everyday life consisted of hundreds of railroad cars loaded with massive amounts of stone coal. Lehigh Canal’s barges were also thriving. Mounds of timber were hauled from White Haven’s forests to the barges for transportation.
Today, the barges and steam railroads are nonexistent. You can still enjoy the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in Jim Thorpe for an incredible opportunity to come face to face with majestic wildlife, dramatic elevation changes, and 30-mile views of the surrounding mountain landscape.
3. The town of Jim Thorpe was named after the Native American athlete and Olympic gold medalist.
Jim Thorpe became home to entrepreneurs like Josiah White, who formed the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company in the 1820s. his thriving business was shipping goods, including tons of coal with the help of the Lehigh and Delaware Canals.
If you hop aboard the train at the Old Mauch Chunk Railroad Station and ride into Lehigh Gorge you’ll find the Asa Packer Mansion, a Victorian-style house built in 1861. Here, Asa Packer, the multi-millionaire known for building the Lehigh Valley Railroad called this estate his home. While you’re in town, learn about the infamous Molly Maguires with an Old Carbon County Jail tour!
4. The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred in Easton’s Centre Square.
Take a Historical walking tour or horse-drawn carriage ride through the large center square, Centre Square. Why not bring the kids to the Crayola Experience while you’re here! Or stroll through history at the oldest Farmer’s Market in the United States, Easton’s Farmers Market.
5. Bristol is the third oldest town in Pennsylvania.
Bristol’s riverfront resembles a New England seaport. The British Merchant Shipbuilding Corporation had a strong influence on shaping the town in the early 1900s. The shipyards eventually turned into aircraft manufacturing hubs during WWII. Today, you can stroll along the riverfront and enjoy one of the many local events!
Stay at Mountaintop Lodge and Discover the History of the Poconos
What’s better than hands-on learning? A trip to the Poconos to explore the history of the Poconos is a great way to get the kids engaged, listening, and interested in history! If you want to get a closer look at more history in the Poconos, be sure to check out our favorite Poconos museums.
Come explore the history of the Poconos during your stay at Mountaintop Lodge and be close to it all! Make Mountaintop Lodge at Lake Naomi, your Poconos, PA, home base. The entire family will love access to The Lake Naomi Club, which is included with any overnight stay. We offer great accommodations like our cozy guest rooms and cabin suites, the perfect size to fit the whole crew.
Start planning your trip to discover the history of the Pocono Mountains!