HONESDALE—The United States Postal Service (USPS) plans to commemorate the dual anniversaries of the Stourbridge Lion's first run (190 years ago) and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (150 years ago) with a commemoration ceremony on Thursday August 8 at noon.

Held at the Wayne County Visitor's Center (32 Commercial Street, Honesdale), attendees will be able to honor the Lion's inaugural 1829 trial run over the Lackawaxen River and the gold spike driven into the Transcontinental Railroad's last tie in Utah in 1869 with a ride on the 190th anniversary express.

Tickets can be purchased from the ticket office in the visitors center at a special price for adults and are free for children 12 and under.

Those who take the historic ride will leave with a free commemorative postcard.

Attendees can also purchase the new, commemorative Transcontinental Forever Stamp, which debuted on May 10 of this year.

Finally, celebrants will have the opportunity to obtain a pictorial postmark, designed by local artist Jerry DeCrotie.

The postmark is available from a temporary postal location in the Visitors Center between 1 p.m . and 4 p.m.

Postmarks can also be mailed in with a self-addressed stamped return envelope, for 30 days to Honesdale Railroad Station, Honesdale Post Office, 830 Main Street, Honesdale, PA 18431.

During the ceremony, a barbershop quartet will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” and local historians will delve into the Lion's history, notes Historic Honesdale, LLC.

Those present will hear a recounting of the stories explaining how Honesdale got its moniker, “The Birthplace of the American Railroad,”

Those in attendance can also find more information about the Stourbridge Lion and other local history by stopping into the free open house at the Wayne County Historical Society Museum (810 Main Street, Honesdale), held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the day of the commemoration.

According to a press release, several local businesses will also have special deals to honor the event.

More information is available online at: https://historichonesdale.com/190th-lion-anniversary.

The “Iron Lion's” first run

According to the 190th anniversary page on the Historic Honesdale webpage (historichonesdale.com), only three miles of track were laid when Honesdale received the Stourbridge Lion in July of 1829.

On the day of its trial run, crowds gathered to see if the grasshopper-looking steam engine would actually run.

Its only passenger that day was its conductor, Horatio Allen, who led the engine down the wooden track and across the 30-foot high trestle bridge rising over the Lackawaxen.

With Allen manning the engine, the Stourbridge Lion disappeared down the track and later returned to the station with a screech, ushering in the beginning of the American railroad system and the country's industrial development along with it.

—Information from a release was used in this story.