Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

Bridge renamed for its originator: General Sullivan

JN1229_01R_BridgePhotoUnveiling the newly renamed Sullivan Bridge sign on December 21 are, from left, Rick Bodenschatz from the Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township, atate Rep. Jack Rader, and state Sen. Mario Scavello. (Journal of the Pocono Plateau: Hofbauer Strategies)

by Jeanine Hofbauer
The Journal of the Pocono Plateau

“We must remember the past,” stressed Mario Scavello as the Pennsylvania Senator joined 176th Legislative District State Representative Jack Rader and Rick Bodenschatz of the Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township in unveiling the newly re-named Sullivan Bridge during a chilly December 21 ceremony.

As a significant part of Route 940, providing access to western Monroe County and beyond, it is also a major alternative to I-80 in cases of emergencies on the heavily traveled interstate highway. Located at the center of Pocono Mountains recreational tourism, Sullivan Bridge allows thousands to enjoy the area’s streams, lakes and forests.

The Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township requested the new bridge be named after General John Sullivan and his historic journey through the Township during the Revolutionary War. General Sullivan’s troops assisted in stopping the invasion of the British coming from New York into Wilkes-Barre.

Under General Sullivan’s leadership, two regiments of 500 military road builders accomplished the task of building a road to accommodate the Colonial troops in just six weeks, from Tannersville to Wilkes-Barre. The worst section, known as the Great Swamp, was located in today’s Tobyhanna Township.

The only bridge they needed to construct for the new road was over the Tobyhanna Creek. It was immediately named Sullivan Bridge by the construction army but through the years, that name was lost.

Sullivan’s Expedition was a great success in stopping the British invasion into Pennsylvania, contributing significantly to the birth of a new nation. In addition, Sullivan’s Trail opened the region to settlement and development by connecting northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York to the Philadelphia area and its port. Emphasizing importance in recognizing historical significance, HATT lobbied to re-introduce the name with a supportive backing by area officials.

“Thanks to Mario Scavello’s efforts it is now the law of the Commonwealth,” stated Bodenschatz as friends and officials cheered heartily.