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Pike County, Pennsylvania

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

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The county was organized on March 26, 1814 and named for General Zebulon Pike.

The longtime original inhabitants were the Lenape Native Americans, known by the English colonists as the Delaware Indians because their territory was along the Delaware River (as named by the colonists), as well as the coastal mid-Atlantic area. In 1694, Governor Benjamin Fletcher of the colony of New York sent Captain Arent Schuyler to investigate claims that the French were recruiting Indian allies for use against the English. In 1696, governor Fletcher authorized purchases of Indian land near the New York border by a number of citizens of Ulster County; their descendants became the first European settlers of what became Pike County.

Nicholas Depui was the first to settle in the area, in 1725. Thomas Quick moved to the area that would become Milford in 1733. Andrew Dingman settled on the Delaware River at the future site of Dingmans Ferry in 1735. The early settlers got along well with the Lenape and traded with them. As settlement increased and their land practices encroached on Lenape uses, land disputes arose. The colonists' infamous Walking Purchase of 1737 swindled the Lenape out of more than half of present-day Pike County. As the Lenape realized what had happened, violent conflicts arose between them and the colonists.

Early in the nineteenth century, coal was discovered nearby in the area that would become Carbondale. This became especially significant as the British restricted export of British coal to the United States after the War of 1812, creating a fuel shortage in rapidly expanding New York City. To get the coal to New York, developers proposed a gravity railroad from Carbondale to Honesdale, along with a canal from Honesdale to the Hudson River at Kingston.

The state of New York approved the canal proposal in 1823. Work on the 108-mile Delaware and Hudson Canal began in 1825 and was completed in 1828. The canal system, which terminated at the Hudson River near present-day Kingston, proved profitable. But the barges had to cross the Delaware via a rope ferry across a "slackwater dam," which created bottlenecks in the canal traffic and added greatly to the cost of transportation.

John Roebling proposed continuing the canal over the river as part of an aqueduct. Built in 1848, his innovative design required only three piers, where five would ordinarily have been required; this allowed ice floes and timber rafts to pass under with less damage to the bridge. Three other suspension aqueducts were subsequently built for the canal. Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct is still standing, possibly the oldest suspension bridge in America; it has been named a National Historic Landmark.

For fifty-one years, coal flowed to New York City via the canal. But the development of railroads, which were faster, cheaper, and operated even when the canals were frozen, brought the end of the canal era. The New York and Erie Railroad supplanted the canal and in 1898 the water route was abandoned.

From 1904 to 1926, Grey Towers in the borough of Milford, Pennsylvania was the site of summer field study sessions for the Master's program of the Yale School of Forestry, together with the Forester's Hall, a commercial building that was adapted and expanded for this purpose.

In 1926, the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company built a hydroelectric plant on Wallenpaupack creek at the former village of Wilsonville. The town was evacuated and now lies under Lake Wallenpaupack, created by a dam. A crew of 2,700 men worked for two years to complete the dam for the project at a cost of $1,026,000. This required the acquisition of nearly a hundred properties, and a number of farms, barns, and homes were razed or moved. In addition, 17 miles of roads and telephone lines were relocated, and a cemetery was moved to make way for the project.

Tamiment, first known as Camp Tamiment, was an American resort located in the Pocono Mountains of Pike County, Pennsylvania, which existed from 1921 through 2005. Originally established by the Rand School of Social Science in New York City as a Socialist camp and summer school, Tamiment developed into a regular resort and later fell under private ownership. The Tamiment Playhouse entertained guests with weekly revues and served as a training ground for many prominent Broadway and TV performers and writers. Playhouse alumni have included Danny Kaye, Imogene Coca, Jerome Robbins, Carol Burnett, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, and many others. Tamiment was a popular resort for Jewish singles and has been referred to as "a progressive version of the Catskills" and "a pillar of the Poconos tourist industry."

The Tamiment golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, was ranked among the top 200 U. S. golf courses by Golf Digest magazine.

The resort was liquidated in 2005 to make room for a residential condominium development.

Adjacent Counties

Boroughs, Townships & Communities

Birchwood Lakes | Blooming Grove | Conashaugh Lakes | Delaware | Dingman | Fawn Lake Forest | Gold Key Lake | Greene | Hemlock Farms | Lackawaxen | Lehman | Masthope | Matamoras | Milford (County Seat) | Palmyra | Pine Ridge | Pocono Mountain Lake Estates | Pocono Ranch Lands | Pocono Woodland Lakes | Porter | Saw Creek | Shohola | Sunrise Lake | Westfall | Wild Acres Lakes



Nat'l Reg. of Hist. Places