Special Alert

Escort Notes

There’s a lot to know about the Pocono Mountains, whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned tour organizer.

Impress your group with the help of escort notes. Here is a sample of Pocono Mountains firsts, facts, and historic highlights.

Pocono Mountains by the Numbers:

2400 square miles
4 counties
2 National Park Units
10,000 Rooms
150 Lakes
30,000 Tourism Employees
7 Ski Areas
170 River Miles
9 State Parks
19 Waterfalls

Pocono Mountains Firsts & Historic Highlights

  • The first American railroad was built in 1827 between Summit Hill and Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), Carbon County.
  • Harry Packer Mansion in Jim Thorpe served as the inspiration for Disneyworld's Haunted Mansion.
  • The first steam locomotive in America, the Stourbridge Lion, made its trial run on the Gravity Railroad in 1829 in Honesdale, Wayne County.
  • The first J.J. Newberry store was built in Stroudsburg, Monroe County.
  • The first commercial ski area opened in Pennsylvania in the winter of 1946 at Big Boulder Ski Area in Lake Harmony, Carbon County.
  • Snowmaking was patented at Big Boulder Ski Area in 1956. It was the first ski area to make snow for skiing.
  • The first silent movie ever make in the United States was filmed in Milford, Pike County, in 1912.
  • Daniel Beard at Lake Teedyuskung, Milford, and Pike County established the first Boy Scout camp in the United States.
  • On Dingmans Creek there are two waterfalls that together, have a larger drop than Niagara; but not a sheer drop of water. They are Dingmans and Silver Thread Falls in Pike County.

Pocono Names

Where the Area Names and the Meanings Came From

DELAWARE

It is referenced to the first Governor of the colony of Virginia, Governor De La Warr.

EQUINUNK

Two meanings of this Wayne County Village: "The trout stream" and "Where articles of clothing were distributed."

KITTATINNY

Refers to the Blue Mountain that includes Wind Gap and Delaware Water Gap. The exact translation is the "Endless Mountains.

LACKAWANNA

From the Native American word "Lechauwahhannek" meaning "The forks of a stream."

LACKAWAXEN

A mispronunciation of the Indian word "Lechauwesink" meaning "Where roads part."

LEHIGH

From the Indian word "Lechauwekink" meaning "Where there are forks." The Germans shortened this word to "Lecha" which has been corrupted into its present form.

WALLENPAUPACK

The original Indian word is "Walinkpapeek" meaning "Deep and dead water" or "Swift and slow water" depending on who you talk to.

MAUCH CHUNK

From the Indian words "Machk Tschunk" meaning "Where there is a mountain the resorts of bears."

MINISINK

Shortened from the "Minissink" meaning "Where are the minsies" a well-known tribe in the area.

POCONO

From the Indian word "Pocohanne" translated means "A stream between mountains."    

Pennslyvania Facts

What is a Commonwealth?

We share the technical Commonwealth designation with Virginia, Kentucky and Massachusetts. It refers to an old English term from the common weal or common well-being. Our state Constitution of 1776, and those since, use both State and Commonwealth; although common practice in recent years is to refer to the State.

What is a Keystone?

The word "keystone" comes from architecture and refers to the central, wedge-shaped stone in an arch, which holds all the other stones in place.

Why are we called a Keystone State?

The application of the term “Keystone State” to Pennsylvania cannot be traced to any single source. It was commonly accepted soon after 1800.

At a Jefferson Republican victory rally in October 1802, Pennsylvania was toasted as "the keystone in the federal union," and in the newspaper Aurora the following year the state was referred to as "the keystone in the democratic arch." The modern persistence of this designation is justified in view of the key position of Pennsylvania in the economic, social, and political development of the United States.

State Symbols

Pennsylvania

The Keystone State

State Beverage

Milk

State Dog

Great Dane

State Flower

Mountain Laurel

State Bird

Ruffed Grouse

State Fish

Brook Trout

State Tree

Hemlock

State Animal

Whitetail Deer

State Insect

Firefly "Poturis Pennsylvania De Geer"

State Beautification
& Conservation Plant

Croenvetch

Pennsylvania Facts

  • Pennsylvania has a state park within a 25-mile radius of every location in the state.
  • Pennsylvania leads the nation in the acres of state game lands and number of covered bridges.
  • The bobcat is the only wild cat found in Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania means Penn's Woods, and is named after founder William Penn's father.
  • Lima, PA is home to the first cloverleaf highway interchange; named after the plant it resembles.
  • A German craftsman in south-central PA invented the Pennsylvania long rifle, sometimes mistakenly called the Kentucky rifle.
  • The Philadelphia Zoo was the country's first zoo; which opened in 1874 and is still in operation today.
  • American's first movie theater was opened in Pittsburgh in 1905. The admission was five cents so it was named "Nickelodeon."
  • Little League Baseball was founded in Williamsport.
  • Flag Day was conceived in Pennsylvania in 1937.
  • The first SLINKY toy was made here in 1948.
  • Tom Mix, the first cowboy of the silent screen, was born in Pennsylvania.
  • The first United States Mint was established here in 1792.