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Of the four counties that make up the Pocono Mountains, Wayne County was the first to be established and cut from Northampton CountyWayne County was formed on March 21, 1798, named for the Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne.  The most famous names in Wayne County history is Philip Hone, Lyman Lemnitzer and Christian Dorflinger.  Read about them and lots more about Wayne County history right here!

James Wilson Washington Irving
Lake Wallenpaupack Philip Hone
General Lyman Lemnitzer Christian Dorflinger Glass
Delaware and Hudson Canal The Stourbridge Lion


James Wilson was the owner of the Wallenpaupack Manor, a 12,150 acre parcel of land between Wayne and Pike counties.  He was one of our founding fathers and one of the largest landowners in the Pocono region.  Here is his story:

James Wilson (1742-1798) was a great American Statesman.  Born and educated in Scotland, he moved to New York City in 1765 at age 23.  He studied law and, in 1767, was admitted to the bar.  In 1774 he distributed what was to become an extremely important manuscript.  Wilson wrote that the British Parliament had absolutely no power over the colonies.  Furthermore, he stated that each colony was a separate and independent self-governing unit.

Later, in 1774, Wilson was a delegate to the First Continental Congress and the next year was elected to the Second Continental Congress.  On July 4, 1776, James Wilson was one of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, which ranks as one of the greatest documents in human history.  Other signers included Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, John Adams and Ben Franklin.

Wilson was a strong believer in the election of U.S. Senators by a direct vote of the people, rather than by the legislatures.  He believed in natural rights, a doctrine maintaining that sovereignty rests in the individual rather than in government.  As a member of the Continental Congress he attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was instrumental in writing the Constitution of the United States.  On September 17, 1787 James Wilson was one of the 39 men who signed the Constitution, along with other distinguished statesmen such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.  Wilson was one of only six men who signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

In 1789 James Wilson was appointed by President George Washington to serve as associate justice on the first Supreme Court of the United States and served in that capacity until his death in 1798.

In 1793 James Wilson obtained title to the 12,150 acre tract of land known as the Wallenpaupack Manor from the William Penn estate.

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The land on which Lake Wallenpaupack is built dates back to William Penn.  The William Penn Estate transferred the 12,150 acre parcel in 1793 to James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

At that time the Wallenpaupack River was a beautiful stream with many deep water lagoons combined with whitewater rapids.  The Lenape Indians called the river Wallenpaupack “the stream of swift and slow moving waters”. 

With PP&L’s decision to construct a dam, the initial step was to purchase over 12,000 acres of property and engineer a 5,700 lake bed.  Land was purchased from over 100 land owners at an average price of $20.00 per acre.  Farms, barns, houses and other buildings were razed.  A cemetery was relocated and trees were cut from the lake bed.  Construction began in 1924 with 2,700 men and women working two years to compete the project.  It included at 1,280 foot long concrete dam 70 feet high.  The total cost was just over one million dollars. 

There was a wooden pipeline constructed from the dam that used 5 million board feet of Douglas fir that carried the water 3 ˝  miles downstream to a generating station.  The Wallenpaupack 44,000-kw power plant was constructed simultaneously with the dam and was put into operation in 1926.

Today, Lake Wallenpaupack is the gem of the Poconos with thousands of lakefront homes and lakefront communities.  The lake has 52 miles of shoreline, has 2 ˝ billion gallons of water and is 13 ˝ miles long.

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General Lyman Lemnitzer was one of the most distinguished military commanders in American history.  He was a graduate of Honesdale High School in 1917 and went directly to West Point.  In World War II he was assigned with General Eisenhower and helped blueprint the invasion of North Africa.  After 40 years of military service he reached the pinnacle of military leadership when he became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1960.  In 1963 he returned to Europe to become the Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  In July, 1969 he received the Distinguished Service Medals from all three services from President Richard Nixon.  At the age of 87 he was awarded the highest civilian award given in the United States, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by President Ronald Reagan.  General Lemnitzer died on November 12, 1988 and was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetary.

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Prior to the War of 1812 the United States imported most of its bituminous coal from England.  Our own vast coal reserves had not yet been discovered although some Pennsylvania Indian tribes had been known to use the “black stones.”  A number of blacksmiths had also found the “stone coal” to be useful.

In 1814 William and Maurice Wurtz began to explore the hills of Pennsylvania and discovered vast Anthracite coal deposits in Scranton and Carbondale.  The thought of transporting vast amounts of coal to the marketplace in New York would be one of the most expensive private ventures in American history.  The project would mean hauling coal over the mountains by sled and wagon and then loaded onto the canal boats in Honesdale.  Later, the construction of a gravity railroad would be built to carry the coal through the Lackawanna Valley to Honesdale.  From Honesdale, a canal would need to be built along the Lackawaxen River to the Delaware River, then along the Delaware to Port Jervis, then across New York via the Neversink River to Kingston, New York, then down the Hudson to New York City.  The project cost was over one million dollars and was the largest private investment ever made in America.  It was 108 miles long and needed to be constructed entirely by hand. 

The canal was built in an era when America’s industrial greatness was just beginning.  The project helped New York City become the greatest manufacturing city in the world.

In 1825, a stock company was formed for the purpose of constructing the canal.  Its first President was Philip Hone of New York City.  After incorporation, it was three years later that the canal was completed.  The canal had 22 aqueducts, 137 bridges and 108 locks.  At the side of the river ran a towpath for mules that pulled the boats.  Twenty-five tons was the weight limit for the first canal boats, but later boats were able to carry from 125 to 150 tons.  Coal passed through the canal for the first time in November 1828.  At 1-3 miles per hour it took 7 to 10 days to make the trip along the canal.  In 1848 the D & H Canal Company was the largest private corporation in America.  By 1859, the D&H Canal was transporting over 1,300,000 tons of coal annually, as well as cement, stone, hides, iron, general merchandise and passengers.

As the 1870’s approached railway lines began carrying more goods to more markets, while transporting by canal became obsolete.  In 1898 the canal was abandoned.  Remnants of the towpath can still be seen along the Lackawaxen in many areas between Honesdale and the Delaware.

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In the summer of 1844, Philip Hone, John Jacob Astor, Washington Irving and other prominent gentlemen took a trip from New York City up the Hudson, then along the D & H Canal to Honesdale.  A boat was fitted in a most elegant manner to carry them.  Sleepy Hollow’s Washington Irving described the trip, “I do not know when I have made a more gratifying excursion with respect to natural scenery – for many miles the canal is built along the face of perpendicular precipices rising into stupendous cliffs, with overhanging forests, or jutting out into vast promontories, while upon the other side you look down upon the Delaware, roaring and foaming below you, at the foot of an immense wall or embankment which supports the canal.  Altogether, it is one of the most daring undertakings I have ever witnessed to carry an artificial river over rocky mountains, and up the most savage and almost impracticably defiles.  For upward of ninety miles I went through a constant succession of scenery that would have been famous had it existed in any part of Europe.”

After arriving in Honesdale, Irving noticed a huge outcropping of rock high on a hill and insisted on climbing to the top to get a view from the summit.  Irving was so impressed with the vistas that Philip Hone insisted that the ledge be known as “Irving Cliff.”

On the summit of this historic cliff forty five years later a large summer hotel resort was built.  The four story building was erected in commemoration of the visit of Washington Irving to Honesdale.  The hotel had a capacity of more than two hundred guests, 125 spacious bedrooms, broad verandas and many other elegant appointments.

The formal opening of the hotel was to have been on June 22, 1889, but less than a month prior to its grand opening a massive fire burned the hotel to the ground.  Nothing has ever been built on the site since that time.  Today it is a memorial park overlooking the borough.

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The town of Honesdale was named after one of its most famous businessmen, Philip Hone.  He was named the first President of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company in 1825.  The company was the first corporation in American to invest over $1,500,000.00 in a project that would change Honesdale forever and help start the Industrial Revolution in America

He was born in New York City in 1780 from a family of moderate means.  He had little formal schooling and worked in his brother’s business which was auctioneering ship cargoes.  In 1801 he married Catherine Dunscomb and together they had six children.  He retired a very wealthy man 20 years later and began traveling around Europe

He associated with many leading politicians and leading authors of his day including Washington Irving, Samuel Morse, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jacob Astor and Daniel Webster.  Daniel Webster gave credit to Philip for giving  “The Whig Party” its name.

In 1825 he became the mayor of New York City, the office then elected by the Common Council.

While mayor of New York he was also looking for investments for his accumulated wealth.  He became one of the largest shareholders in the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and was named its first president on March 8, 1825.  At 45 years of age he was one of the most successful men in America.  He inspired the confidence of the investing public and the company stock shot upwards.  Under his leadership the company took off and the canal was started with Hone taking the first shovel of dirt at Summitsville, New York on July 13, 1825.  By 1826 Hone had other commitments and resigned as president.  However, he remained on the Board of Directors for many years and took great interest in the company.

On January 20, 1831 the local village was incorporated as a borough and named it Honesdale.  He died in 1851, but left a legacy in New York City and in Honesdale.

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Christian Dorflinger was born in France on March 16, 1828.  He was the oldest of five children and at age 10 was an apprentice learning the fundamentals of glassmaking by one of the most renowned establishments in Europe.  At 18, he finished his apprenticeship and came to the United States, first working with his younger brother Edward, in a glass factory in Camden, New Jersey manufacturing druggists’ wares and prescription bottles.

He opened his own glass factory in Brooklyn, New York in 1852 making kerosene lamp chimneys.  Within 10 years he opened two more factories including the Greenpoint Flint Glass Works, where he had broadened his line of merchandise to include all kinds of cut, engraved and plain table ware. 

On September 17, 1862, Dorflinger purchased a 300 acre farm in White Mills, Wayne County, Pennsylvania where he built a glass factory and concentrated on building the finest lead crystal in the world.  His reputation for excellence in glassmaking was unsurpassed by any American competitor for over 50 years and is attested by the many special commissions with which he was entrusted.  Foremost among these was the distinction of supplying the tableware for eight presidents of the United States, from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson.  All were engraved with the U.S. coat of arms, each having its own individual pattern. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to order highball glasses.  Other prominent customers of Dorflinger Glass included the Smithsonian Institute and the United States Navy.  Some of the wealthiest families in America also had Dorflinger Glass including the Vanderbilts, Goulds and Astors.  In Europe, the Prince of Wales had fluted tableware specially designed, and in Cuba President Mario Menocal had glassware with the coat of arms for the Cuban Republic.

Christian Dorflinger passed away in 1915 and in 1921 the company ceased operations.

The property is now known as the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and includes the Dorflinger Glass Museum.  The Sanctuary acquired its first piece of Dorflinger glass in September 1981 as a gift from Agnes Houth Baisden.  Her father had worked at the White Mills factory.  Many glass acquisitions have followed.  With the generous support of the community and a donation of 300 pieces of glass from Helen Barger the museum continues to grow.  The trustees named renowned Dorflinger expert Ray LaTournous curator of the museum in 1987.  Today the Dorflinger Glass Museum is recognized as having the largest dispay of Dorflinger glass in the nation.

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The Stourbridge Lion was the first steam locomotive to turn a wheel on railroad tracks in the United States, making the first run in Honesdale, Pennsylvania on August 8, 1829.

In 1827 the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company was looking for an alternative to the gravity railroad to haul its coal from the coal mines in Carbondale to Honesdale, and then by canal to New York City.  The company thought the answer may lie in a steam locomotive system and decided to send its deputy engineer, Horatio Allen, to England in 1828 to investigate.

Horatio Allen went to Stourbridge, England and met a brilliant engineer, John Urpeth RastrickRastrick already had a patent for the steam engine in 1814 and Allen decided to purchase 3 steam engines from Foster, Rastrick and Company.  Among them was the “Stourbridge Lion” named for the lion’s head that had been painted on the front boiler.  The Lion cost was $2,915.00 and weighed eight tons.

It was shipped to Liverpool in February 1829, and two months later crossed the Atlantic by the “John Jay” (named after the first Supreme Court Justice of the United States) and arrived in New York City in May and in Honesdale by July.

The trial run was to take place on August 8th 1829.  Large crowds assembled in Honesdale to marvel at such an undertaking.  Many did not believe it would work and was convinced the iron Lion would never run!  Horatio Allen took the controls of the Lion as she hissed down the track and out of site.  The crowd’s jeers turned to amazement as the Stourbridge Lion made American History in Honesdale, Pennsylvania.

After another trial run it was decided by the company that the wooden rails would not sustain the heavy usage of the locomotive and the haulage of coal.  The Lion was put into storage in Honesdale and never ran again.

Today the Stourbridge Lion is part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and travels around the country on display.  The Wayne County Historical Society has an exact replica of the Stourbridge Lion on display at their offices at 810 Main Street in Honesdale.

The Town of Stourbridge, England is very proud to have built “The Lion” knowing the history she made in America.  Unfortunately, the foundry where The Lion was built is in disrepair and is on the verge of being torn down.  A number of preservationists and historians are trying to keep the building intact for posterity and future use as a heritage center.

Dr. Paul Collins, a local historian in Stourbridge said “It is a sad indictment that in the U.S.A. they are celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the first run of The Lion, while the very building where it was made faces the threat of demolition”.  Dr. Collins also claims the building is the oldest standing foundry in Europe.

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