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Lucille Ball and JFK Thought The Poconos Were Pretty Swell

There was a time when the Poconos were hip and happening. One of America's honeymoon (or post-honeymoon) destinations of choice after the first honeymoon resort was established by Rudolf Von Hoevenberg in 1945, more elaborate and family-friendly resorts started opening in the 1940's and 1950's. The first commercial ski area, Big Boulder, was established in 1946 and by 1956, the first patent application for making snow by blowing water through a nozzle was implemented. The Poconos resorts were swinging vacation destinations year-round, and welcomed guests of all social strata: Unity House welcomed union workers from around the Northeast until its closure in the 1990s, and Jackie Gleason was a regular at The Shawnee Inn (Lucille Ball, and Ed Sullivan, too), and John F. Kennedy even made a trip to the Poconos in the early 1960's.

Summer in the Poconos brought on boating, camping, and golf, and winter meant snow-shoeing, skiing, and getting warm the old-fashioned way. While the Poconos has remained a pan-season funhouse through the decades, the most notable recent addition being the family-friendly Great Wolf Lodge, the heart-shaped tubs and champagne-glass Jacuzzis aimed at attracting the business of honeymooners and young lovers lost their luster during the 80's and 90's. Business in many of the Poconos' groovier destinations eventually dropped off, and many resorts were closed, and either abandoned or demolished to make way for suburban development.

Here's a look back at the glory days of the Poconos, when dinners were formal and drenched in champagne, ping-pong was played without irony, the fire-side sing-alongs warm, and the Jacuzzis even hotter.

Photos via Vintage Poconos Resorts Postcards Flickr Pool

· The heart-shaped bed [Curbed]
· History of the Poconos [Lustgarten on the Lake]
· Abandoned honeymoon resorts [Hub Pages]
· Vintage Poconos Resorts Postcards [Flickr]