WAYNE COUNTY—As their centennial anniversary year draws to a close, the Wayne County Historical Society (WCHS) has yet a few last events primed for the closing months.
Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. out of the Main Museum at 810 Main Street, Honesdale, the WCHS Board of Trustees will present the annual Historic Preservation Award to a key location of historical relevance in the county.
Due to this year being WCHS' centennial celebration, eleven potential award candidates were selected for which the community has voted from January through August 31 this year.
Normally, the Board of Trustees chooses the winner.
The location with the most votes will be granted the special Centennial Historic Preservation Award.
The winner and the ten runners-up will also receive a framed Centennial Certificate.
This year's selection of historical sites includes:
• The Belmont Silk Mill-Hawley Silk Mill in Hawley, built in 1881, damaged by fire in 1894 and renowned for producing a million yards of silk cloth annually during its heyday. From 1966 until it closed in the 1980s, the silk mill was the second largest manufacturing employer in Wayne County.
• The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company (D&H) Gravity Railroad Depot in Waymart which currently functions as the borough's historical society. In its prime, the station served as a refueling station for both passenger and freight steam locomotives.
• The D&H Office, currently operating as the WCHS main museum as it has for the last century. The office was at one time the headquarters for America's first million dollar private enterprise, the D&H Canal Company.
• The Dorflinger Factory Museum in White Mills, construction of which dates back to the 1850s. The factory was in operation as a glass-cutting facility as early as 1857 with six cutters and engravers. It quickly grew to house 650 workers by 1903 and maintained steady production until it closed in 1921.
• “The Fireproof,” also known as Bethany's Borough Building, Library and Historical Society. The building was constructed in 1823 to serve as the office building for county officials and records as Bethany was the county seat at that time and had been since its founding in 1800.
• The Gouldsboro Train Station, now in operation as the area's historical society. The station saw transportation of freight and passengers from Hoboken to Buffalo along the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western (DL&W) Railroad line.
• The Inn at Starlight Lake, which opened in 1909 under the careful watch of Gilbert Fay. Now under the care of the McMahons, the inn retains much of its quaint charm and rustic exterior while still providing necessary amenities.
• The Joel Hill Sawmill in Equinunk, last remaining water-powered mill in northeastern Pennsylvania which dates back to 1873. At its hight, with just three men and a 51 inch saw-blade spinning at 850 revolutions per minute, the sawmill could produce 5,000 hoard feet of lumber.
• The Lacawac Sanctuary and Biology Field Station in Lake Ariel, established formally in 1966 with the lodge being built as part of a summer estate in 1903. The sanctuary preserves not only the lodge but 500 acres of wildlife preserve including a field station and educational culture center.
• The Old Stone Jailhouse in Honesdale, located on Tenth Street. It was built in 1858, though was notorious for allowing prisoners to find their way out through the ceiling, floor or windows. The building was condemned in 1936.
• The Wayne County Courthouse, residing on Court Street in Honesdale. The current structure was completed in 1880 after several years of heated discussion later dubbed “ The Courthouse Wars.”
All the historical facts listed above are from the WCHS website: www.waynehistorypa.org.
Much more information on these and other venerable county structures can be found there under the historic preservation tab.
—Information from a release was used in this story.