Kunkletown PA History

Kunkletown is a populated area located in the heart of Eldred Township, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. With a ZIP Code of 18058, it’s a small community with a lot of history to share. The very first reference or mention about the settlement named “Kunkletown” is found in a book called “History of Northampton, Lehigh, Monroe, Carbon, and Schuylkill Counties. This was written by a certain I. Daniel Rupp in 1845. In the book, there was a section in the book talking about a place in Monroe County called Kunklesville. But for historians, the term “Kunklesville” was actually a mistake of the author because in 1846, the same town was referred to as “Kunkletown” in a newspaper published in Stroudsburg. Another proof that it was a mistake is the fact that the term has never been used or heard of after that.

According to that book, Kunklesville was established fifteen years ago (reference to 1845), with about eight dwellings. The community was highlighted by a school house, German Reformed Church, grist mill, one store, and a tavern. So the author, Rupp, was traveling and writing at the same time in 1843 and his book was copyrighted in 1844. So if he was talking about fifteen years, the Kunkletown would have started in the late 1820s.

What’s With the Name?

For the name “Kunkletown,” many historians in the state agree that the place got its name in honor of Joseph Kunkle. He was one of the first businessmen and tradesmen in the area. He also was the proprietor of the first hotel in the area which opened in 1849.

Meanwhile, a man named Abraham Smith is credited for being the first person to settle in the area where the modern day Kunkletown is located. He eventually built a gristmill, but this statement is only based on several people telling the same story. However, the fact remains that he was the one who purchased a land on Aquashicola Creek, situated about a mile in the south of the actual town area. The site was originally a Moravian Indian Mission Station.

Moreover, probably the most interesting development that resulted to Kunkletown’s improvement was the establishment of the log “house” church by the German congregation. It was built high on the hillside on the 27th of October, 1779. The members of the congregation have been performing religious services for that church as early as 1770. The church was then known as the Ross Township Church. It served the area up to 1845. It is also interesting to note that one of the oldest records that survived and with some written confirmation of the existence of Kunkletown was an invitation to everyone to attend the dedication. This was published in a Stroudsburg newspaper.

Although the village of Kunkletown is still an unincorporated community today, its name was eventually confirmed with the establishment of the Kunkletown Post Office on the 20th of December, 1845. Stephen Hess was the first postmaster officially appointed by the U.S. Postal Service.