Poconos Series: The Destination For Lovers and Murderers

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

This past August my boyfriend and I decided to do a weekend getaway in the Poconos dedicated to exploring the defunct resorts that scatter the area. We set out after work one night on the several hour drive and stayed in a really cute AirBnb, it was the perfect trip. We explored several locations so I figured I would make a series. This first location was my favorite for two reasons. It was where my parents went for their honeymoon in 1990 and they’re still happily married. It also has a history as this is where an infamous cop killer was apprehended after a man hunt. 

The Poconos turned into a popular vacation spot after the civil war when tourism started booming. It had the perfect location to reach by rail, right in between Philadelphia and New York. The first resort was built there in 1829. In 1969 it was named the number one honeymoon destination. The popularity began to fade out in the 1980s. The resorts were beginning to look dated and by the 90s they  began to close for good. There are still honeymoon resorts in the Poconos today and it is still a location visited by tourists.

The original owner purchased a farm stead in the early 1950s and opened this resort. When it first opened it was just his wife and himself running it. It was first listed in the phone book in 1953. The resort expanded over time and offered many amenities such as indoor bowling alley, indoor golf, a swimming pool, lake and a night club. It became a hot spot for honeymooning couples and was advertised in many bridal magazines. In the 1970s the best rooms on the resort ran for around $80.00 per night, which would translate to somewhere around $350.00 today. 

By 1963 they had the capacity for 46 couples. The kissing bridge and five new cottages were built that were two story and featured fireplaces with a view of the lake. In 1969 the airpark opened and the resort and by the 70s the resort was offering connections from Allentown airport. Honeymooning couples could fly into Allentown airport and then board the resorts own airplane and land right at the resorts air strip. It is rumored that it was a popular spot amongst mobsters and those of the like due from New York and New Jersey to the ease of access. They offered scenic tours on gliders for $4.00 per rider. There were actually two plane crashes at the resort in 1977 and 1988. 

In the late 1990s, fetishist started hosting weekend events at the resort. It supposedly made national news and was very controversial. The township ended up getting involved and events were canceled. The resort had two false bomb scares in 1998.

The Kissing Bridge built in 1963.

By 2000, the resort was closed. It was owned by a corporation that wanted to build a controversial Taoist center, but plans for that were placed on hold when the organizations leader died in 2001.

By 2015 the property was bought by a New York company who had plans for an extravagant water park. This attempt was resisted by the community due to traffic concerns. The company was indicted on felony charges and as of 2018 the plans have been scaled down and are still on hold. 

In 2014 the resort became a hide out for a fugitive on the run. On September 14, 2014 Eric Frein murdered one police officer and injured another in a sniper style attack on police barracks. A two county manhunt for Frein ensued and he was on the run for 48 days. Frein kept a journal during this time, he wrote how the patrols had missed him by 100 meters a week into the search. By September 24, 2014 Frein was at the resort, but it is unclear how long he actually spent there. Frein also wrote that he thought it was comical the news called him a survivalist as he had never camped more than three days before, and he was worried about how he would find food. Frein also had a laptop and was able to connect to unsecured Wi-Fi networks in the area. This was able to help him stay up to date on the search for him. 

On October 30, 2014 Frein was captured in a hangar on the abandoned resort. He was taken down by 11 U.S. Marshals and suffered some injuries to the face. They used the handcuffs of the police officer he had murdered. He had firearms, a bayonet, 200 plus rounds of ammunition, along with his laptop, water, religious items, DVDs and handwritten notes. 

He confessed within 48 hours once arrested. He said that he was sorry, his motive supposedly was to wake people up because “there's nobody to vote for”.

In April of 2017 Frein was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to death by lethal injection. He is currently incarcerated in a maximum security facility in Waynesburg PA and likely will not be executed for a long time. 

Originally posted 12/18/2018.

All photos used on this site are taken by myself.

For more photos or sources used for this article contact me.


© 2018 by Sarah Healy.
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