(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Last Friday, a fire destroyed the historic Pocono Manor Resort.
Investigators listed the cause as undetermined but the investigation is still ongoing. In the days since the fire, historians in the Poconos have been digging through old documents and photos.
Photojournalist Tom Gregory caught up with some of those historians as they shared their memories of “The Grand Lady Of The Mountains.”
“Here’s the construction of Pocono Manor about 1902,” said John Layton, Pocono Manor Resident and Historian.
“You have to keep in mind one year earlier the Quakers from New York had established Buck Hill Falls. It appears that the Philadelphia Quakers were following suit. The main attraction was open space, fresh air, clean water, and comfortable accommodations. It wasn’t very long they began to build Lake Monassan,” explained Layton.
Layton showed us a movie.
“This is a movie from 1919 of ice harvesting at Pocono Manor. Later on skiing, tobogganing, the Quakers ended up building two golf courses that became a popular feature. They sold it in I think 1955 to Samuel Ireland the owner of the Ireland Tea Company from Philadelphia to Ireland Hotels for one dollar,” added Layton.
“Oh it’s fascinating and we’re so happy to be able to have the items here at the Historical Association. That’s what we do, we’re here to document and take care of Monroe County’s history” said Amy Leiser, Executive Director of the Monroe County Historical Association.
“So when things like this do unfortunately happen we do have the photographs. We do have newspaper articles, copies of deeds, old resort pamphlets, things that we can always look back and have those memories of these places” added Leiser.
“I’m certain they’ll be a new chapter in history. Hopefully, they will return to some form of a profitable hotel for the management and a property that is positive for the community,” said Layton.
If you have any old photos or even photos during the fire, both the Monroe County Historical Association and the Pocono/Jackson Historical Society would like you to reach out to them.