HISTORY

Lake Winola is located in the Endless Mountains on the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. It is within the boundaries of Wyoming County and has been part of Overfield Township since 1859. The spring-fed lake and the entire region were formed millions of years ago by shifts of the Earth and by glaciers that moved through the area.

 

Our lake was called “the Pond” by early settlers. Because of its proximity to the community of Falls, that name was later changed to “Buttermilk Falls Pond”. Postal records and an 1869 map in Wyoming County Court House indicate that the lake was next called “Crooked Lake”. The name “Winola” first appeared in the 1870’s and was spelled “Wynola” in some records.

 

Today we call this beautiful creation of nature “Lake Winola”. The name Winola means “water lily” and can be traced to Native Americans who were its first residents.  

The Scranton, Montrose, and Binghamton Railroad, also known as the Northern Electric trolley line, built a branch line from Factoryville to Lake Winola which opened in May 1908. Following this, Northern Electric purchased 50 acres (0.20 km2) of lakefront property on which a dance pavilion and a small amusement park were built.

 

Summer visitors and residents could also take boat rides on the lake, operated by a small steamboat. Costing just 45 cents one way from the city of Scranton to the lake. This solidified the lake as a popular destination for local residents in the summers for many years. The trolley line operated until the fall of 1930, when it was replaced with a bus service which was operated by Northern Electric since 1927. Through time the dance pavilion, amusement park, and steamboat rides were phased out leaving only a few foundations as reminders.

Lake Winola was a childhood vacation spot for Hillary Clinton and her family. In 2013, she released her co-ownership of the family cottage at the lake to her brothers Hugh and Tony.