Celebrating Our Centennial 1921-2021 Happy 100th Birthday, Monroe County Historical Association

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Amy Leiser, Executive Director

When members of the Stroudsburg Civic Club purchased the Stroud Mansion for $20,430.50 in 1920 they intended to provide community space for various local organizations. Rooms in the historic Georgian structure served as headquarters and meeting place for numerous groups, including the Civic Club, the Woman’s Club, the Red Cross, the Girl’s Scouts, the Jacob Stroud Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Monroe County Historical Society.

We are the heirs of the ages, and we can’t do anything better than to teach our people what our men and women have done before us. ”

— C.B. Eilenberger, Member of the Monroe County Historical Association

The Monroe County Historical Society was formed on April 8, 1921. A group of 40 “deeply interested and enthusiastic” citizens met at the Monroe County Courthouse. The meeting was presided by Robert B. Keller, who offered an “aspiring address” to the citizens. Three speakers provided remarks to support forming a historical society. Professor Joseph Hart, president of Northhampton County Historical Society and former professor at Lafayette; Mrs. Stocker, president of the Woman’s Club Bethlehem; and C.B. Eilenberger, treasurer of the Stroudsburg Trust Company, all spoke to the large group.

William A. Gilbert was named head of the organization, with Dr. Mary Erdman serving as his first Vice President. Other officers elected that day were: Second Vice President, Dr. Elmwood L. Kemp; Third Vice President, Eleanor Croasdale; Fourth Vice President, Harry Schoch; Fifth Vice President, John A. Seguine; Recording Secretary, Robert Brown, Jr.; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Mary Flagler; and Treasurer, Milton S. Kistler. An article in the Morning Press from July 14, 1920, stated that the Historical Society “will be given on room {in the Stroud Mansion} in which may be preserved records, relics of the early days.” The Historical Society was given two rooms in the basement of the three-story Stroud Mansion to establish the museum and archives. When the Monroe County Public Library received the gift of the Keiper building and moved across Main Street, the Historical Society acquired the first-floor rooms the library had occupied. The organization was officially incorporated on September 5, 1928.

As community organizations that occupied space in the Stroud Mansion grew, they moved to other locations throughout the county. When the organizations moved out, the Historical Society expanded to those spaces. Space was desperately needed as the Historical Society’s collections increased. Citizens from all over Monroe County donated thousands of locally-significant artwork and artifacts to the museum. Contributions to the archives also grew. Residents added their family histories, census records, church histories, books, maps, journals, ledgers, and other primary sources to the Historical Society’s library.

The Stroud Mansion offers a feeling of pride not only for Monroe County citizens but also for visitors”

— Amy Leiser

On March 8, 1994, the Woman’s Club of the Stroudsburg transferred total ownership of the Stroud Mansion to Monroe County Historical Association.

Today the historic 1795 Stroud Mansion continues to serve as the headquarters of the Monroe County Historical Association. This beautiful structure houses a local history museum with four floors of exhibit space and a genealogical research library. The building remains a jewel in the county and is an important landmark showcasing the heritage of the area. The Stroud Mansion offers a feeling of pride not only for Monroe County citizens but also for visitors.

For the past 100 years, the Monroe County Historical Association has served as the official county historical organization for Monroe County and has strived to preserve every aspect of Monroe County’s rich history.

Here’s to another 100 years!