Pocono Township was created as a separate township by a decree of the courts of Northampton County in November of 1816. It is bounded on the north by Tunkhannock and Tobyhanna Townships, east by Coolbaugh and Paradise Townships, and west by Jackson Township. The township took its name from the Indian word “Pocohanne,” meaning a stream between two mountains.
In the years prior to the Revolutionary War, the area that would later be named Pocono Township was made up of mostly uninhabited land. Early records indicate the first settler, John Larner, came to the area in about 1740. By 1830, the population grew to 564. Many of the early settlers came from Germany through Bucks County, which lies to the south of Pocono Township.
The Village of Tannersville, where the local government buildings are located, was settled in approximately 1750 by John Larner, formerly of Philadelphia. Tannersville, according to one historian, was first called Pocono Point. The area was a base for farming and timbering, and numerous sawmills were constructed. Pocono Point was later renamed to Tannersville, for its numerous tanneries within the village. As new industries flourished within the community, Indian trails were later widened for stagecoach use, and later evolved into highways. Two of the most famous of these are the Lackawanna Trail (now Route 611 through Tannersville) and Sullivan’s Trail. Learned’s Tavern, which burnt to the ground in 1999, was established along Lackawanna Trail, and in 1779, was the last building on the frontier. On June 18, 1779, General John Sullivan and his soldiers camped at the Learned’s Tavern, after a 16-mile march from Heller’s Tavern. Although Learned’s Tavern no longer remains, a monument recognizing the site’s historical significance stands in its place.
Pocono Township is in the “Heart of the Poconos,” and continues to experience considerable growth. Currently, the population is estimated to be well over 10,000, and continues to grow due to many contributing factors, including Pocono Township’s scenic beauty, low crime, good schools, and numerous recreational opportunities. The Township provides various job opportunities, including, but not limited to beautiful resorts, gracious bed and breakfast accommodations, biological-type laboratories, utility companies, ski resorts, indoor and outdoor waterparks, outlet stores, schools, construction-related companies, and many small businesses, restaurants and motels. Many new and exciting business ventures are in the planning stages within Pocono Township, which will soon offer lots of fun and entertainment.
The Pocono Township community continues to draw people with many interests, including shopping, sports, and the area’s natural beauty. Residents and visitors appreciate both the beauty and landscape of Pocono Township’s natural resources, and respect the splendor of its nature. Residents of the township take pride in their unique history, and continue to preserve the pristine landscape Pocono Township has to offer.
A 279 Year Journey
1737 – The Walking Purchase
1750 – Johannes Lerner’s family settles at Pocono Point and builds Learned’s Tavern
1779 – Sullivan’s March
1781 – Learn Family Massacre – the home site located where CVS is now.
1816 - Pocono Township chartered. First school located at present site of CVS. In 1825 a second school in lower Tannersville at Bulger Run.
1825 – First hotel, now Tannersville Inn
1834 - Tannery, erected by Jacob Singmaster. It burned down in 1884. First church in Tannersville built near present day Crossings Outlets – Lutheran Reformed.
1836 - Jacob Singmaster builds Glenwood Hall (still standing)
1840 – Town name changed from Pocono Point to Tannersville
1868 - Methodist Church built
1875 – Request made to County officials by prominent Township officials to classify Tannersville as a borough. Request denied.
1879 – The 2 story, four room Bell School erected.
1888 – The first appearance of the Glenwood Hall Band which becomes a Tannersville fixture through 1943 when disbanded.
1893 – Reformed Church built (now the United Church of Christ)
1909 – “New” Lutheran Church relocated on Route 611
1918 - In October, Tannersville resident Robert Mader was killed in action in France during WWI.
1921 –The new concrete Lackawanna Trail was completed through town replacing the century old Belmont Pike dirt road. New fire tower built on Big Pocono, a new picnic grove on the Raish farm and the first high school graduate - Emma Singer. Milo Kistler, a pillar of the community, passes away.
1925 – The first graduating class from the newly erected Pocono Consolidated School graduated – all FIVE of them. That school graduated students through 1961 and, during those 37 years, sent a total of 726 grads into the ‘real world’.
1928 – Tannersville resident, Clara Adams, became the FIRST PAYING CUSTOMER to fly across the Atlantic Ocean aboard the zeppelin, Graf Zeppelin
1940 – Pocono Township Fire Department established.
1943 – Completion of three lane route 611.
1945 – In March, Bartonsville resident Dick Beehler was killed-in-action in Germany during WWII.
1948 – The new Catholic Church was erected on Route 611.
1951 – The first ski run on Big Pocono was built (now Camelback Mountain)
1955 – The catastrophic flood
1962 – Completion of the new Route 80.
1970 – Pocono Township population is 1,870
1985 – The old Pocono Consolidated School closed and the new Pocono Elementary Center opened on Warner Road
1991 – The Crossings Factory Outlet opened
2010 – Pocono Township population is 11,210 – an astounding 660% increase over the past 40 years!
2013 – Residents vote to make Pocono Township a “First Class Township”
2016 – Pocono Township celebrates its Bicentennial by opening the Pocono Heritage Center.