An Area Rich In History
Tourism along River Road, which ran from the Delaware Water Gap to Milford, was booming in the early 1800’s. This area became well known in the north east as an outdoor recreation destination. Boarding houses and taverns made way for larger hotels to accommodate the visitors. In 1891, Forest Park Hotel was built as one of the earlier hotels. By 1915 the hotel was fully electrified and boasted the first steam launch in the Poconos. From 1919 to 1920 the hotel was put up for sale and exchanged ownership several times.
An affiliate of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, named the Dress and Waist Makers Union, had long dreamed of founding a workers’ resort. In 1919, the Dress and Waist Makers Union borrowed funds from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to purchase part of the Forest Park Resort. The hotel was called the Unity House and annually hosted several thousand guests including union members, retirees, and public officials. It was the only workers resort of its size in the United States.
In 1920, The Rand School of Social Science in NY became aware that the remaining property of the Forest Park Hotel was up for sale. The Rand School taught courses in socialism, economics, art, literature, music, race relations, peace education, psychology, and youth leadership. It was one of the most important schools in modern American history, as it provided the working community with an opportunity to continue their education. It created a corporation for the sole purpose of administering the camp, called the People’s Educational Camp Society (PECS). This corporation bought the property in 1921. Its intentions were to financially support the Rand School.
It reopened the hotel as Camp Tamiment, a summer resort for faculty families, students, and friends. It was heralded as the "largest summer school and camp for workers in the world." A bungalow colony was built to house the guests, and summer classes were taught through the 1930’s. It was also home to the Tamiment Playhouse, which was built in 1941, seating 1200 people. It became a creative outlet for theater, dance, film, and television in the US. It became the birthplace for many individuals in the entertainment industry. Some of these include Danny Kaye, Sylvia Fine, Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carol Burnett, Dick Shawn, Neil Simon, Moss Hart, Carol Channing, and Woody Allen. Camp Tamiment began drawing in more middle-class guests, and came to resemble a mainstream resort.
Because the majority of the Unity House’s guests were members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, paying discounted rates, financial difficulties were frequent. During WWII, the federal government closed down resorts located in Atlantic City, NJ. This helped the Unity House turn greater profits, enabling the hotel to build a rustic Recreation Center. Following her visit in 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt expressed how impressive the facilities and children’s programs were.
In 1956, a lakeside theater at the unity House was completed, where performers like comedians and opera companies could entertain guests. Many of the activities and musical productions were designed to boost union solidarity. The Unity House offered numerous lectures and books on social, economic, and labor issues in hopes of members becoming more politically active. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union had close ties to the Democratic Party and became an important stop during political campaigns. A few political visitors included Ralph Reuter, George Leader, David Lawrence, Milton Shapp, Jacob Javits, as well as Edward, John and Robert Kennedy. In 1963, the IRS revoked the Camp Tamiment’s tax exempt status. This action contributed to its demise in 1965. Tamiment was sold again that same year, and Wayne Newton became the new owner.
Eagle Village opened in 1979. Construction began in Phase I with just 20 timeshare units and over the years have grown to 68 units. Although the buildings we currently utilize are original and dated in comparison to a Gold Crown Resort, we have many satisfied guests who return for a visit each year. Our hospitality scores are among the highest in the Poconos area, and we strive to increase that number each day. Enjoy the beautiful, rustic scenery, wildlife, and natural wonders that the Poconos has to offer. If you are interested in a relaxing, quiet getaway, escape to Eagle Village.
The Tamiment Golf Course and Resort is closed. It was never owned by Eagle Village, and is no longer affiliated with Eagle Village. There is ongoing construction on the Tamiment property, so access is no longer permitted. Unfortunately, there are out of date rental and resale websites on the internet, which still depict amenities at the now closed Tamiment Resort. Please disregard those websites, and only refer to this website for the correct information.