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Honesdale Borough


Honesdale Borough Hall is located at 958 Main Street, Honesdale PA 18431; phone: 570-253-0731.

Beginnings [1]

Honesdale, made the county seat in 1841; population 2756; altitude, 1000 feet; named for Philip Hone, president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, which started here for tidewater at Roundout on the Hudson, built 1826-28, abandoned, 1898; Honesdale owes its growth and prosperity to the canal; it was one of the anthracite stepping stones to a waiting market. Three locomotives were purchased by the canal company to draw coal from the mines in Carbondale and vicinity to the canal at Honesdale; the first one, the Stourbridge Lion, was brought by canal boat to Honesdale in 1829 and a trial trip was made; the wooden rails, then used for the railroad, were not firm enough for the strain of the engine, and it was never run again; however, Wayne County takes precedence in having had the first locomotive ever run in America make its trial and only trip at Honesdale; it is now at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. The New York & Erie Railroad follows the course of the old canal through the town.

Courthouse built, 1880; brick with stone trimmings; contains portrait of General Anthony Wayne, copied from original in Wayne family, Philadelphia, by Miss Jennie Brownscombe, native of Wayne County; two large Parrott guns in front are relics of the Civil War. It faces Central Park, where stands a Soldiers' Monument, dedicated in 1869 by Governor John W. Geary; pedestal with bronze plates inscribed with names of nearly 350 Wayne County men lost in Civil War; also fountain in center of park, memorial of the National Centennial, both placed by the women of Honesdale who are said to be the first in the state to organize a Village Improvement Society; they, aided by the town council, have done much for the beautifying of the town; the parks have received special attention; besides Central Park are North Park, and on either side of the Main Street bridge lie Torrey Park, West, and Riverside Park, East, overshadowed by Irving Cliff, 300 feet high, named in honor of Washington Irving, who, while in Honesdale in 1841 with Philip Hone, climbed to the summit of the ledge overlooking the town.

Grace Protestant Episcopal Church, Gothic, stone, contains white marble font, good design, gift of Philip Hone, in 1848. Baptist Church, wood, classic, with Ionic columns supporting the porch, built 1843-45. Glen Dyberry Cemetery contains grave of Attorney General Samuel E. Dimmick, died, 1875, marked by granite shaft; his residence, brick, is south of courthouse. North of Honesdale is stone arched bridge over Carley Brook, made in 1909; builder, Samuel Brown from England.

  1. Archambault, A. Margaretta, ed., A Guide Book of Art, Architecture, and Historic Interests in Pennsylvania, John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia, 1924
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