Monroe County was created on April 1, 1836, from parts of Northampton and Pike Counties and named for President James Monroe. The southern boundary of the county was the ridge of the Blue Mountain; to the east, the Delaware River; and to the west, the Lehigh River formed its natural borders. The county did not have a county seat because no site had been selected (that was not done until July 1837). There were also no county facilities, such as a courthouse, offices and jail. These were to await the selection of a site and the election of county commissioners. For eight months following its creation, a Board of Trustees, named in Act 161, managed the county.
On August 31, 1837, Stroudsburg became the county seat. Stroudsburg, incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1815, was named for Jacob Stroud, a settler. (Stroud built this home for his son, which has now been restored and now operates as a museum by the Monroe County Historical Association at the intersection of 9th and Main Streets.) The new commissioners supervised the erection of the courthouse in 1837, along with a separate building as a jail.
Monroe County is located in eastern Pennsylvania, situated 90 miles north of Philadelphia, 75 miles west of New York and 116 miles east of Harrisburg. Today, the County stretches across 611 square miles of rural terrain, rolling hills, and farmlands to the more populated boroughs. It consists of 16 townships and 4 boroughs.
- 1970 - 45,422
- 1980 - 69,409
- 1990 - 95,709
- 2000 - 138,687
- 2010 - 169,842
Barrett Township (2010 population - 4,225)
Chestnuthill Township (2010 population - 17,156)
Coolbaugh Township (2010 population - 20,564)
Delaware Water Gap Borough (2010 population - 746)
East Stroudsburg Borough (2010 population - 9,840)
Eldred Township (2010 population - 2,910)
Hamilton Township (2010 population - 9,083)
Jackson Township (2010 population - 7,033)
Middle Smithfield Township (2010 population - 15,997)
Mount Pocono Borough (2010 population - 3,170)
Paradise Township (2010 population - 3,186)
Pocono Township (2010 population - 11,065)
Polk Township (2010 population - 7,874)
Price Township (2010 population - 3,573)
Ross Township (2010 population - 5,940)
Smithfield Township (2010 population - 7,357)
Stroud Township (2010 population - 19,213)
Stroudsburg Borough (2010 population - 5,567)
Tobyhanna Township (2010 population - 8,554)
Tunkhannock Township (2010 population - 6,789)
In addition to its rich cultural heritage, Monroe County is home to East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and the Monroe County Campus of Northampton Community College in Tannersville, the Pennsylvania portion of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Sullivan Trail (The portion of the route of General John Sullivan's famous march of 1778 from Easton to New York that reaches from Tannersville to Pocono Pines. This trail leads to the road that scales Big Pocono Mountain, one of the highest points in the Poconos that offers magnificent vistas.), Sanofi Pasteur (manufacturer of vaccines), Pocono International Raceway (home two major NASCAR events held annually), Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Great Wolf Lodge, Camelbeach Water Park and Ski Area, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, The Crossings Factory Stores (named the number one outlet center in North America by the Outlet Retail Merchants Association (ORMA) for 2000-2001), three state parks (Big Pocono State Park, Gouldsboro State Park and Tobyhanna State Park, and Tobyhanna Army Depot (a major element of the Communications-Electronics Command is the largest and most progressive Communications-Electronics repair, overhaul and fabrication facility in the Department of Defense).
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