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The first inhabitants of the Pocono Mountains were the Delaware, Iroquois, Shawnee, Minisink, Lenape and Paupack Indians. The Dutch established settlements in 1659 near the Delaware Water Gap, a gorge with 1,200 foot cliffs on each side of the river. The Dutch were forced to leave by the English in 1664.

A treaty was signed with the Minisink Indians to acquire all the land from the Delaware River to as far north as a man could walk in three days. The Minisinks claimed they had been cheated and retaliated with terror and massacres. Many years later Benjamin Franklin ordered a string of forts to be built along the frontier in Bushkill, Shawnee, Stroudsburg and Kresgeville.

General John Sullivan's expedition against the Iroquois Indians came through the Pocono region in 1779. The troops marched from Scoita to Tannersville along what is now Route 611 and is known as Sullivans Trail.

Of the four counties that make up the bulk of the Poconos, Wayne was the first to be formed on March 21, 1798, cut from Northampton County. Wayne County is named in honor of General Anthony Wayne.

Honesdale, the county seat was named after Philip Hone, owner of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company. Coal was brought to Honesdale by a gravity railroad from mines in the Lackawanna Valley for transport by canal to New York. In the mid 1850's more than a million tons of coal passed through Honesdale.

Pike County was established on March 26, 1814, from the land in Wayne County. Its name comes from Colonel Zebulon Pike, a hero of the War of 1812 who later discovered Pikes Peak.

The early means of crossing the Delaware River in Pike County was by ferry boats near what is now Dingmans Ferry. Ferry boats carried passengers across the river for more than 200 years until the early bridge crossings were built around 1900.

Originally part of Pike and Northampton counties Monroe County was formed on April 1, 1836 and named for President James Monroe.

Colonel Jacob Stroud founded Stroudsburg in 1799. He built a home at Ninth and Main streets that is now operated by the Monroe County Historical Association.

Northampton and Monroe counties contributed the land for Carbon County on March 13, 1843. The name comes from carbon, the basic element of the area's rich anthracite coal deposits.

The county seat is Jim Thorpe, which was originally two towns Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk until the communities merged in 1954 and were renamed in honor of the famed Olympic athlete, who is buried there.

Millionare Asa Packer, founder of the Lehigh Valley Railraod and founder of Lehigh University built a beautiful ornate Victorian mansion in 1868 in Mauch Chunk. The home is open to tourists daily.

Since the Civil War, residents of the Pocono Mountains have relied on tourism as their main source of income. It is a region rich with rivers, lakes, wildlife and woodlands. The mountains have been attracting city dwellers from the major urban areas in New York and Philadelphia for over a century. Today the Pocono's attract millions of visitors each year.

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