Historical Markers
Honesdale Historical Marker
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Poconos / Endless Mountains


Marker Location:
US 6 and PA 191 entering Honesdale from West & Southeast

Dedication Date:
April 9, 1948

Behind the Marker

Empty canal boats lined up at the docks at Honesdale.
Empty canal boats lined up at the docks at Honesdale
Philip Hone (1780-1851) served as first president of the markerDelaware and Hudson Canal Company, a position he resigned after less than a year to become mayor of New York. Once he entered office, Hone started his famous diary. The Hone diary is well known among historians for its biting observations and fascinating glimpses into rare historical moments, such as the development of early photography or the rise of New York City.

Honesdale's founder was actually Jason Torrey. He was a land speculator in Wayne County who understood almost immediately that a town in the Honesdale location, situated as it would be at the head of the new canal, represented a potential gold mine. He purchased plots around the region and eventually owned more than half of the original community.

Initially, the D&H mine operators had to bring coal to Honesdale by wagon. In 1828, the company began building a markergravity railroad line that ran east-west across Lackawanna County and had its terminus in Honesdale. On this line, the first steam-powered locomotive in the U.S., the markerStourbridge Lion, conducted its experimental run in 1829. Anthracite mining and transportation transformed Honesdale from a pine forest to a bustling town center in a handful of years.
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