Pike County is a county located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. , the population was 57,369. Its county seat is Milford. Pike County is considered the most western edge of the Greater New York area surrounding New York City. As of 2006, Pike County was the fastest-growing county in the state of Pennsylvania. It is also the only Pennsylvania county in the Greater New York City Combined Statistical Area.
The original inhabitants were the Lenape, later known as the Delaware Indians. In 1694 Governor Benjamin Fletcher of the colony of New York sent Captain Arent Schuyler to investigate claims that the French were recruiting Indian allies for use against the English. In 1696, governor Fletcher authorized purchases of Indian land near the New York border by a number of citizens of Ulster County; their descendants became the first European settlers of Pike County.
Nicholas Depui was the first to settle in the area, in 1725. Thomas Quick moved to the area that would become Milford in 1733. Andrew Dingman, settled on the Delaware River at the future site of Dingmans Ferry in 1735. The early settlers got along well with the Indians; however, as settlement increased, land disputes arose. The infamous Walking Purchase of 1737 swindled the Indians out of more than half of present day Pike County, leading to violence.
For fifty-one years, coal flowed to New York City via the canal. But the development of railroads, which were faster, cheaper, and operated even when the canals were frozen, brought the end of the canal era. The New York and Erie Railroad supplanted the canal, and in 1898 it was abandoned.
In 1926, a hydroelectric plant was built by the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company on Wallenpaupack creek at the former village of Wilsonville, which now lies under Lake Wallenpaupack. A crew of 2,700 men worked for two years to complete the dam for the project at a cost of $1,026,000. This required the acquisition of nearly a hundred properties, and a number of farms, barns, and homes were razed or moved; 17 miles (27 km) of roads and telephone lines were relocated, and a cemetery was moved to make way for the project.
Between 1990 and 2000, Pike County was the fastest-growing county in Pennsylvania, growing by 65.2%; it grew an additional 16.9% between 2000 and 2004. The area has relatively low state and county taxes, affordable housing, and Interstate 80 and Interstate 84 provides rapid transportation to New York City's northern suburbs.