Exploring Our Unique Cultural Heritage

By: Don Hannig

The breathtaking vistas of the Pocono Mountains were created some 12,000 – 15,000 years ago with the advance and eventual retreat of the Wisconsin glacier. The massive glacier molded the landscape into what it remains today – sprawling mountains interspersed with natural wonders such as lakes, waterfalls, boulder fields, bogs, and thousands of acres of forested lands.

Such geologic beauty has provided the backdrop for some very unique cultural history – beginning with the Native Americans who populated the Pocono Mountain Region – to who we are today…. a rich blending of many cultures and backgrounds!

Early Peoples

Long before Europeans arrived, the Poconos were densely populated with many different Native American peoples, including the Delaware, Minisink, Lenni Lenape, Iroquois, Shawnee, and Paupack Indians. The Delaware River basin was an area ripe with wildlife and provided a rich cultural variety even among the native peoples of long ago. The Dutch were the first European settlers, establishing settlements in 1659 near the famous Delaware Water Gap an impressive gorge with 1200 foot cliffs on either side of the great river.

Advancing Industry

Peoples of eastern European descent, namely the German and English, took up a living in our region in the late 1700s, after the Walking Purchase and a period of bloody battles between the natives and the whites of the region – skirmishes over land ownership. A booming industrial period ensued, as the Poconos were rich with anthracite coal and other natural resources. The canal system and a bustling railway economy allowed the lumber industry to prosper. Farming was an integral part of the area’s economy as well.

Romantic Allure

In the early 1900’s, the Pocono Mountain Region became better known for what it is today – a destination for escape, relaxation, and enjoyment of the bounty of nature. Hotels sprang up as wealthy new tourists were drawn like flies to beauty of the area. In the 1960’s the Poconos became known as a honeymoon haven nationwide– further expanding its growing economy of tourism.

Home Today

Today, the Pocono Mountains provide a home to those of us who recognize the region for what it is – the jewel of eastern Pennsylvania. We can enjoy the best of all worlds here – an area culturally rich in lore and history, closeness to the major cities of the Northeast, and the richest beauty nature can provide!

Check Out These Great Destinations!

Eckley Miner’s Village 

Hickory Run Boulder Field

Delaware Water Gap

Jim Thorpe

Tannersville Cranberry Bog

To find out more about the Pocono Mountains, please call us at 570-646-4646, email us at info@keswickpointe.com or visit our website at www.keswickpointe.com

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