Why were the Pocono Mountains Called the Shades of Death?

Why were the Pocono Mountains Called the Shades of Death?
During the American Revolution, a swampy valley in the Pocono Mountains became known as the "Shades of Death."


In 1778, settlers of the Wyoming Valley fled into the dark mountains to escape the bloody onslaught of Iroquois Indians. According to Benson J. Lossing's "Our Country," many died in the dark swampy area "ever since known as the 'Shades of Death.'"


The Shades of Death area has many pine, hemlock and spruce trees with "the roots waxing lustily in deep beds of mold," according to "Seeing Pennsylvania" by John Thomson Faris.


In "Our Country," Lossing states, "The details of that day of destruction in the beautiful Wyoming Valley, and the horrors of the flight of the survivors, formed one of the darkest chapters in human history."


According to "Carbon County" by Rebecca Rabenold-Finsel, a century after the massacre the Shades of Death would become known for the Sunnyrest Sanatorium, a health resort that sought to heal those with tuberculosis.


Today, Hickory Run State Park marks the beginning of the Shades of Death Trail, a difficult 1.5 mile hike.

Article Written By Angela Harris

Angela Harris is a freelance writer in Greensboro, North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Appalachian State University. Her work has appeared in High Country Magazine and the Watauga Democrat Newspaper.

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