Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

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

Hungry Hill: Preserved for future generations

By Beth Brelje
Pocono Record Writer

Centuries from now, veterans serving in the military today will continue to be honored, if there are still men like Tobyhanna Township resident Bill Mullen around.

As a 22-year-old Army helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, Mullen had a wife and son at home — a family — the same as many of the men and women he fought beside. About half of them died. The other half, he will never forget.

"I carry the sword for the good guys who died at an early age," said Mullen, now 75.

That personal understanding of sacrifice is why, eight years ago, when he drove past an unkempt monument on Sullivan Trail Road in Tobyhanna, Mullen had to act.

The monument, Hungry Hill, was overgrown with weeds and the stone walls were crumbling. He had a hard time finding people who knew the story of Hungry Hill. Mullen and his wife cleared the weeds and soon were advocating for the monument's repair. Monroe County commissioners contributed money to the project through the years, and the community got involved.

The monument to Hungry Hill, originally erected on county land in 1943, commemorates the 1779 building of Sullivan Trail, a vital military road through what was once brush and swamp land connecting Tobyhanna to Wilkes-Barre.

George Washington ordered Gen. John Sullivan and his troops to build the road. Conditions were harsh. The scarcity of food gave Hungry Hill and the adjacent swamp, Hell's Kitchen, their names, according to Kenn Anderson, who has written and recorded an audio history of "the warrior road."

Buried at the monument is one man who died during the building of the road.

His name was lost in history.

"As we remember the one who sleeps here, who gave his all, even his name, let him represent all who have served," said Anderson Monday at a ceremony rededicating the rehabilitated monument.