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.
- 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
- 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.
Where the Area Names and the Meanings Came From
It is referenced to the first Governor of the colony of Virginia, Governor De La Warr.
Two meanings of this Wayne County Village: "The trout stream" and "Where articles of clothing were distributed."
Refers to the Blue Mountain that includes Wind Gap and Delaware Water Gap. The exact translation is the "Endless Mountains.
From the Native American word "Lechauwahhannek" meaning "The forks of a stream."
A mispronunciation of the Indian word "Lechauwesink" meaning "Where roads part."
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.
The original Indian word is "Walinkpapeek" meaning "Deep and dead water" or "Swift and slow water" depending on who you talk to.
From the Indian words "Machk Tschunk" meaning "Where there is a mountain the resorts of bears."
Shortened from the "Minissink" meaning "Where are the minsies" a well-known tribe in the area.
From the Indian word "Pocohanne" translated means "A stream between mountains."
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.
The Keystone State
Firefly "Poturis Pennsylvania De Geer"
& Conservation Plant
- 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.