When William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania in 1682, this area was home to the nation of the Lenape Indians. The early colonialists that came in contact with the Lenapi called them the Delaware Indians. In 1737, the infamous Walking Purchase cheated the Lenapi out of a large part of this area. During and after the 1750’s French and Indian War the Poconos were the site of several bloody Indian massacres.
As settlements continued, rich deposits of coal, iron, slate and limestone were discovered. In 1791 anthracite coal was discovered in Northeastern Pennsylvania by Philip Ginter. The major problem was the transportation of the mined coal. It was during the War of 1812, when the supply of coal from Virginia was cut off to the north, especially to Philadelphia, that the need to find a new source of coal became a priority. This forced two individuals by the name of Josiah White and Erskine Hazard to look north where coal was abundant. They had two challenges: first to make the Lehigh River navigable and second was how to move the coal from the mountains to the Lehigh River.
In 1817 White, Hazard and George Hauto formed Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. The company not only was involved in mining and transporting coal but also acquired vast land holdings. This mountainous and forested area, in later years thru the creation of a subsidiary “The Blue Ridge Real Estate Company”, began to manage the usage and sale of these holdings.
Split Rock Lodge was opened in 1942 as a retreat for LC&N’s management and executives. Skiing was introduced at SRL in 1943 as well as a 1,600 foot Toboggan Run. The Big Boulder slope was opened in 1946. A rope tow was added in 1948. “Big Boulder” area was the only winter sports center south of New England. Snowmaking, which became a necessity because of the unpredictable winter weather in Pennsylvania, started during the 1956-1957 winter.
Big Boulder Lake, which covers 175 acres, was created in 1957. The lake provides the water for the snowmaking machines during the skiing season and much of the water returns to the lake after the meltdown. The lake affords members opportunity for fishing, sailing, boating and swimming at the Blue Heron Beach. Currently Big Boulder Lake is accessible to only those condo owners who purchase membership in the Lake Mountain Club.
In the early 1980’s Blue Ridge, partnered with Crosslakes Development Corporation and constructed the Blue Heron Townhouse community. They followed by developing Midlake next and later on Laurelwoods. Blue Heron and Laurelwoods are held in a trusteeship and Midlake is a fee simple holding.
Big Boulder Lake, along with 20 feet around the edge of the lake, and 19,513 acres of land are owned by Blue Ridge.
Midlake construction was started in 1984 and completed in 1989. The construction began with the E building along with the swimming pool and continued in the following order: buildings D, C, A, B, F, G, H and I. (Please Note: In 2014, due to 911 re-addressing, the entrance address of Midlake were changed:
Building A: Entrances 5, 7
Building B: Entrances 9, 11, 15
Building C: Entrances 19, 21 Building D: Entrances 23, 25 Building E: Entrances 29, 33 Building F: Entrances 39, 41, 43 Building G: Entrances 45, 47 Building H: Entrances 49, 51, 55 Building I: Entrances 59, 61, 63
The complex houses 132 condo units in nine (9) buildings. The Midlake contractor was Springfield Construction and the architect was The Martin Organization Architects and Land Planners. In August of 1989 the Association became responsible for the administration and maintenance of the complex. The Association is governed by a Board of five elected homeowners.
The water and sewage treatment plant are owned and operated by Blue Ridge. Big Boulder Drive is also owned and maintained by Blue Ridge however, Midlake, Blue Heron, Laurelwoods and Boulder Lake Village are assessed for its usage and maintenance. The Midlake parking lot is the responsibility of Midlake.
In 1999 Midlake had major restoration work done on all of our buildings. The buildings were coated with Silflex to aid in moisture retardation, new railings on front and back of the buildings and gutters and spouting were replaced.
In 2001 all the roofs, along with the skylights, were replaced.
During the spring of 2004 all the hallways were re-carpeted, halls re-papered and railings and doors were painted. The hallways were once again refurbished in 2016.
Currently, the Midlake Condominium Association has retained the services of FirstService Residential as our property management company.
Of interest: On our property at the lower entrance we have an American Chestnut tree. The tree is located between Big Boulder Drive and our parking lot on the east side entrance. It was wrapped at one time with blue plastic. The American Chestnut, tree once one of the most valuable of American hardwoods, had been virtually destroyed by chestnut blight. The tree is very susceptible to blight cankers. The tree on our property is registered with the American Chestnut Foundation. We will continue to monitor and treat it accordingly.