Taking a trip through Stroudsburg history

From the Pocono Record

If you didn't know that downtown Stroudsburg's architecture includes examples of Georgian, Federal, Second Empire, English Gothic Revival and Art Deco styles, you might want to stop by the borough Saturday.

If you don't know who Daniel Brodhead, Jacob Stroud, Daniel Stroud, A. Mitchell Palmer, Thomas Kitson, Joseph Wallace or Amzi Wyckoff are, ditto.

The Jacob Stroud Corporation and the Monroe County Historical Association will co-host the first Historic Stroudsburg Day beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday in Stroudsburg.

Amy Leiser, executive director of the historical association, said, "It's a great way to promote the historical nature of Stroudsburg from the historical buildings to the people."

The idea came through Martha Loomis' experience as a new business owner. She is co-owner of Josephine's Fleur-de-lis, which opened 10 months ago on Sixth and Main streets.

"We really appreciate the historical value of Stroudsburg," Loomis said. She quickly discovered that some customers knew nothing of the history, while others were well versed in it.

"I saw this event as a celebration of the historical significance of Stroudsburg," Loomis said. "We need to celebrate it and learn more about it."

Loomis, as a board member of the Jacob Stroud Corporation, teamed up with MCHA.

A walking tour at 11 a.m. will take visitors to such locations as the George Tillotson House, Wallace Hardware Building and Newberry's Five and Dime Store. Visitors can also take a self-guided tour.

At 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, an oral history panel will feature older residents, which will be recorded by Martin Wilson, a history professor at East Stroudsburg University and a MCHA board member. ESU students will transcribe the recordings.

"A 20-year-old student transcribing the memories of an 80-year-old Monroe County citizen is a link between the generations," Leiser said. "It makes you realize that history is more than just battles and dates. It's everyday life."

An open house is set at the newly renovated
Driebe Freight Station Art Gallery. Originally, the old freight station served as the site for the Arts and Artichokes event in the early 1980s. It later, with the addition of a caboose, became a museum site. The caboose was returned to Eldred Township in August.

The opening will showcase the dedication of a portrait of the late Edward K. Driebe, founder of Pocono Produce. The dedication will take place at noon with Driebe family members.

The gallery will showcase local artists, and the current exhibit is the work of Sherwood Samet, which will run through the end of December.

Loomis said, "People are very busy, and if you give them a way to learn and make it a social time, they are more likely to come out."

Leiser added, "Our community is evolving. One day there is a historic building, and the next day it is gone, replaced by something new. This lets people know where everything comes from."

They hope that natives, newcomers and tourists benefit from such an event. "Everybody loves historical tidbits, even if they're not from the area," Leiser said.

Many visitors are surprised that the area's history is more than heart-shaped tubs and honeymooners. The area has been home to lumber and tanning industries, farming and railroads.

Leiser views the event as a practice run for the bicentennial of Stroudsburg in 2015.

Plus, it brings the community and businesses together. Loomis said, "These buildings are breathing and living entities, and these are living and breathing businesses in these buildings. We want to integrate it all. It's all about the human element of downtown Stroudsburg and the historical part of downtown Stroudsburg. We are celebrating the past and people."


1. Name the founder of Stroudsburg.
2. What year was Stroudsburg founded?
3. What is the name of the longest operating hotel/inn in Stroudsburg?
4. Name the Stroudsburg man who served as attorney general of the United States. Hint: His residence is on Thomas Street
5. What is the original name for Main Street?

1. Jacob Stroud
2. 1815
3. Brownie's Best Western Pocono Inn on the corner of Main and Seventh streets
4. A. Mitchell Palmer served as attorney general during the Wilson administration
5. Main Street was originally named Elizabeth Street after Jacob Stroud's wife, Elizabeth McDowell Stroud.