History of Paradise Township and Henryville
In the mountains of the Pocono Valley in Paradise Township is the small village of Henryville. Founded in 1845, it was named after a local land owner and businessman named James C Henry. Paradise Township was founded in and was also home to the Lene Lanape Indian tribe. Part of the “Walking Purchase” of 1737 once included in the counties of Bucks, Northampton and Pike and the townships of Lower Smithfield and Price.
Settlement of this wilderness began in the early 1820’s by families of German descent who moved north from the “drylands” of Northampton County in pursuit of farming and timbering as their principal way of making a living. As the timber industry flourished and as the village grew boarding houses were built to accommodate the loggers and mule skinners who hauled coal from Scranton to Easton as it was soon discovered that Henryville was mid point between these two towns. With the completion of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad in 1848, it was easier and faster to get the timber to market .
At one time this area was known as Parkside. The many streams were filled with brook trout and soon the area became well known as a popular fly fishing spot. Soon the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad was providing transportation for the avid fisherman coming from Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey
Sportsman and vacationers flocked to the area to take in the healthy climate and the beauty of the Pocono Mountains. Soon tourism became the primary industry. Existing boarding houses were remodeled and enlarged and new hotels with lavish accommodations were built. Two such establishments, Henryville House, owned by James Henry and Park House, owned by his nephew, Wesley Henry often competed for business by adjusting the weekly room rates by as much as a dollar a week
Photographs courtesy of Alan Sweeney author of Journey Along the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad