About Shawnee
About Shawnee inn

About the historic Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort

Our History

The history of Shawnee is very important to us and we love to share it with our guests. We are reminded of our roots and what has been accomplished here. It all began in the late 1890s, when a native New Yorker and successful business owner, Charles Campbell Worthington, took up summer residence in Shawnee. An engineer and inventor by trade, C.C. Worthington was also an outdoorsman who’d never enjoyed urban living. Soon, he relocated to his summer home, and began to make his mark on the area. Among his legacies are Worthington Hall (home of the Shawnee Playhouse) and the Buckwood Inn (now Shawnee Inn).

Worthington wanted to make his resort one of the finest and most unique in the East, building walls of 12” iron-reinforced concrete, hiring orchestras to play every afternoon and tapping the famous A. W. Tillinghast to design an 18-hole golf course. The food served in the dining room came fresh from gardens on the premises and nearby farms, a on-site creamery provided fresh milk, cream and butter and drinking water of the purest quality was gravity-fed directly into each room.

In 1912, C.C. Worthington invited a group of professional golfers to be his guests at the Buckwood Inn. It is said, that this meeting led to the formation of the present day PGA and the first PGA Championships. Twenty-six years later, in 1938, Shawnee hosted the PGA Championships. In this match, Sam Snead, Shawnee’s Touring Pro at the time, lost to Paul Runyon. Throughout the early years of the Inn, many professional golfers played the now famous private island course.

In 1943, a year before Worthington died at the age of 91, he sold the Inn to Manawalamink, Inc, a corporation headed by famous choral master and enthusiastic golfer Fred Waring, who renamed the resort the Shawnee Inn. Despite the fact that seasonal resorts seemed economically unviable, Waring was determined to maintain Shawnee’s status as a seasonal, expensive and exclusive establishment. He centered all his musical activities on Shawnee Inn itself, creating, rehearsing and broadcasting his famous radio programs from the stage of Worthington Hall throughout the 1950s.

In 1974, Waring sold the Inn and the surrounding area to Karl Hope.

A real estate developer, Hope introduced resort timesharing, opening Shawnee Village, one of the first timesharing developments in the country. To encourage year-round visitors, he hired Jean Claude Kiley, a triple gold medal Olympic skier, to run the operations for Shawnee Mountain. In 1977, Hope sold his business interests to the current owners, Charles and Ginny Kirkwood and their family.

To make Shawnee a cost effective year-round resort, the Kirkwoods contracted Dick Farley and “Swing’s the Thing” Golf School, built an indoor pool, miniature golf course, driving range and opened Shawnee River Adventures on the beautiful Delaware River. Improvements were also made at Shawnee Mountain with the addition of 100% snow making capabilities and the construction of Shawnee Place, a recreational water park. In addition, the family renovated Worthington Hall and began productions at what is now known as Shawnee Playhouse.

In 1991, Shawnee divided into three separate companies: Shawnee Properties, responsible for managing and marketing the timesharing; Shawnee Mountain, responsible for managing the ski area; and the Inn. In 1994, the Kirkwoods renamed it The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort.

To capture its vision for the future, The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort is embracing its history, its world-class golf and its pristine natural environment.

A new level of service standards and a new direction in marketing have set the stage for the success of the next generation at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. The resort’s reinvigorated focus on golf includes the “Tillinghast Golf Academy” for professional instruction and a 6-hole Chip n' Putt and Driving Range (both lit for night play). As stewards of this beautiful natural environment, Shawnee has been recognized for its green efforts by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau and the Greater Pocono Mountains Chamber of Commerce. In its continuing effort to decrease its carbon footprint, the resort has introduced the The Shawnee Island Farm, ShawneeCraft Brewery, an apiary, recycling programs, initiated waste minimization efforts and stopped using chemicals in its housekeeping and laundry operations.

We look forward to a future of ongoing excellence in world-class golf, fine entertainment, and a unique, memorable experience for visitors here in the beautiful village of Shawnee on Delaware, Pennsylvania.