The Pocono Indian Museum is the only museum in Northeastern Pennsylvania dedicated to showing the history of the Delaware Indian. The museum will both inform and, perhaps, shock you. It will show the North American history of man in Northeastern Pennsylvania from 10,500 B.C. to the contact period with European man prior to the American Revolution. It will show the Delaware Indian's peaceful coexistence with other Indians. And, it will show you the shocking and short 100 years it took the white man to virtually eliminate almost all traces of the Indian's existence.
The Pocono Indian Museum traces the history of the Delawares through displays of ancient artifacts, weapons, and tools that form chronological commentary on life among the Indians for thousands of years.
The museum opened for the American Bicentennial and sees thousands of tourists from all over the world pass through the doors each year.
A tour of the museum takes approximately 30 minutes. Visitors carry with them an audio device which gives a detailed narration of the unique displays. Groups of twenty or more may call for reservations and are given a tour with a guide through the museum.
The main building that houses the museum was originally built 1840 by Mr. John Van Campen Coolbaugh. It is one of the oldest frame structures in the Pocono Mountains. The large farm house is located on Rt. 209 previously called Milford Road as it was a dirt road leading from the town of Stroudsburg to Milford Pa. It was later a boarding house and stop for the stage coaches heading from Pennsylvania to New York State.
During the American Civil War the basement of the house was reputed to be a safe house hiding slaves during the day light hours so they could continue their journey under the cover of darkness on the “Under Ground Railroad” to Canada.
During the prohibition era drinking liquor was prohibited in the United States. The building became a local “Speakeasy” where people could drink alcohol in violation of the law. “Dutch Shultz” and Legs Diamond“, famous gangsters were seen staying here while on the way to see a Jack Dempsey fight.
The building at a later date was used as a dormitory for councilors at Camp Sunny Brook a summer camp nearby run by the Pennsylvania Baptist Convention.
In 1976 the property was purchased as the site of the Pocono Indian Museum. By this time the structure was in terrible shape and had to be completely refurbished. It took a lot of man hours and the dedication of the Law family to bring the building back to its original splendor and current home of the Pocono Indian Museum.