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Photos by Kim Erickson &
Jeff Hiller


Wayne County Chamber of Commerce

32 Commercial Street, Suite 200
Honesdale, PA 18431

Phone: (570) 253-1960
Fax: (570) 253-1517

GPS
Lat.: 41 degrees 34' 17.114" N
Lon.: 75 degrees 15' 22.235" W

 

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About Wayne County

History Recreation Education
  
About Wayne County

Wayne County is perched on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, 100 miles west of New York City, 150 miles north of Philadelphia, and 35 mile east of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre corridor.

With a population of about 47,722 Wayne County is growing at the rate of nearly two-percent each year, the third fastest growing county in the state.  Honesdale is the county seat and the largest commercial center and has a population of 5,200.

Covering 744 square miles of rolling terrain, elevation varies from 2,656 feet above sea level in the west to 670 feet at the Delaware River, which marks the county's eastern border with New York state.  Susquehanna, Lackawanna, Monroe and Pike counties in Pennsylvania border Wayne to the west, south, and east.

Wayne County enjoys a four-season climate with average temperatures ranging from lows in the teens in winter to the 80's in the summer.  Average annual precipitation is 39 inches, with snowfall ranging from 55 to 75 inches depending on location and elevation.

Principal highways in the county are Interstates 84 and 380, US Route 6 and State Routes 191, 247, 296, 370, 371, 507 and 670.  It's no secret.  Wayne County is a great place to visit and you would want to live here.  We play host year-round to vacationers, and more and more people are choosing to place their roots here.  In fact we are one of the fastest growing areas of Pennsylvania.

Wayne County, within the Pocono Mountains, is famous as a vacation playground.    The combination of an unsurpassed natural environment and top-notch facilities and accommodations have produced good times and pleasant memories for millions.

Sixty-percent of the county is woodland.  Principal streams are the Delaware and Lackawaxen Rivers and Wallenpaupack Creek.  Wayne County is conveniently located to the "Big City" while offering a broad expanse of living space with a full array of goods and services available.

We present this publication to help you get better acquainted with us, our institutions and the facilities that make up a superior environment, both natural and human.

Look us over.  This should be YOUR place to be.

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History

Wayne County was formed in 1798, named for General Anthony Wayne, hero of the Revolutionary War who was born in Paoli, Pennsylvania. He was famous for his part in ending the Indian resistance and destroying the Northwest Indian Confederation at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Ohio.

In the years since, a number of events of major historical significance have occurred within Wayne County's boundaries. In a lawyer's office in Honesdale, a group of political leaders, the best known of whom was Horace Greeley, met in 1859 to advance the presidential candidacy of Abraham Lincoln. Later, Wayne County become noted for the production of a prestigious line of glassware, the product of Christian Dorflinger. Railroads and canals would play a part in the county's development as well as the development of New York and Philadelphia.

Even as early Wayne County settlers cleared thick forests for homesteads and farms, cities to the east were encountering a shortage of wood and fuel. Coal deposits over the mountains to the west would relieve the shortage if an economical method of transporting the coal to market could be found.

The answer was a combination of a canal and railroad. In 1823 New York State, its own Erie Canal nearing successful completion, gave its blessing to the Delaware and Hudson Canal on a 108-mile waterway to run between Honesdale and the Hudson River terminus near the present-day Kingston, New York. Work commenced in July 1825 and was completed in 1828.

Meanwhile, a rail system was laid out to haul coal from the Lackawanna Valley region (Carbondale area) to the mountain summit, engineering it to descend by gravity over a series of inclined planes to Honesdale. Huge coal piles were part of the scenery in Honesdale, where the coal hauled by the Delaware and Hudson gravity railroad was transferred to the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Canal Company boats.

Even before construction of the system began, news arrived of the first successful trials of a steam locomotive in Great Britain. An agent was dispatched to England to procure locomotives for the new railroad.

Perhaps foremost, Wayne County is remembered as the birthplace of the American railroad. The first locomotive to arrive in Honesdale was the Stourbridge Lion, manufactured by Foster, Rastrick & Company of Stourbridge, England. On the front of the boiler was painted the head of a lion. Delivered by canal, it was unloaded in the summer of 1829, and on August 8, 1829, it made a short trip between Honesdale and Seelyville with Horatio Allen as the engineer. The wooden rails of the track proved insufficient for the heavy load of the locomotive. Eventually the Stourbridge Lion was dismantled and used as a stationary engine. Finally abandoned, the boiler was later shipped to the Smithsonian Institute and reassembled with parts from other engines and put on display.

Although elsewhere canals and railroads engaged in a competition that ended in the demise of most canals, the Delaware and Hudson gravity railroad and canal worked in tandem until the end of the 1800's supplying coal for the grates of our eastern cities.

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Recreation

Wayne County, within the Pocono Mountains and possessing two great water resources with Lake Wallenpaupack on its southeast side and the Delaware River on its eastern boundary, is famous as a vacation playground . The combination of an unsurpassed natural environment and top-notch facilities and accommodations have produced good times and pleasant memories for millions of vacationers. Sixty-percent of the county is woodland. Principal rivers are the Delaware and Lackawaxen but the county also boasts of several dozen glacial lakes and hundreds of impoundments, the largest of which is Lake Wallenpaupack, 13 miles long with 52 miles of shoreline.

Public recreation areas include three state parks, a dozen community parks and over 14,000 acres of state game lands which provide habitat for large and small game. The Delaware River is protected through its designation as a National Scenic & Recreational River. Among the private developments are more than 40 summer youth camps and many campgrounds. The Delaware river is a Mecca for rafters and canoers. It also boasts some of the best trout fishing in the eastern United States.

Recreational activities don't stop with the end of summer either. If you like to view the changing scenery that Fall foliage provides, Wayne County has breathtaking views that rival anything you could see in New England. During the winter season, excellent skiing, both downhill and cross-country, as well as skating and snowmobiling make Wayne County a winter wonderland.

There are limitless ways to enjoy everything Wayne County has to offer, any season of the year-- a pampered stay in a luxury resort, a back-to-nature campout, boating, whitewater canoeing and rafting, swimming, sunbathing, hiking, horseback riding, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and skating. Wayne County gives sports enthusiasts the opportunity to pursue their favorite game whether it's played, like golf and tennis, or pursued, like deer, black bear, turkey or trout.

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Education

Wayne County offers some unique attributes for students that many cities and urban areas cannot. Overall, the class sizes are smaller, there is more concern for each individual student and there is greater opportunity for each student to excel in his or her studies.

The educational system in Wayne County offers programs to give students with every level of ability a chance to mature and achieve to a degree equal to their potential. Guidance and testing are used to identify individual needs and curricula are designed to prepare students for higher education or careers, whatever their goal may be. Special education needs are met through programs for the mentally handicapped, learning disabled and gifted students. Curricula are planned and monitored to assure a match between skill taught and the demands of the marketplace.

Numerous extra-curricular programs in athletics, music and art complement the academic program in developing well-rounded individuals. All high schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Universities and Secondary Schools. The majority of public school students in Wayne County attend classes in three school districts.

Southeastern Wayne County falls into the Wallenpaupack Area School District which also includes part of Pike County. Wallenpaupack Area School District covers the Borough of Hawley, Palmyra, Dreher, Paupack and part of Texas(#3) townships. Its district office is located in Hawley, PA and its main telephone number is (570) 226-4557. Besides the typical classes that most high schools provide, the Wallenpaupack offices a vocational school as well.

The Wayne Highlands School District covers 431 square miles in the central and northern part of the county. By physical size, it covers the greatest amount of territory in eastern Pennsylvania. Honesdale borough, the townships of Scott, Buckingham, Preston, Manchester, Lebanon, Damascus, Dyberry, Oregon, Berlin, Cherry Ridge and a part of Texas township (#1 & #2) are all included in the Wayne Highlands School district. The Wayne Highlands School District office is located in Honesdale, PA, (570) 253-4661; it operates two elementary schools, two elementary-middle schools and one high school. Wayne Highlands District student enrollment is 3,556. The professional staff numbers 210.
The Western Wayne School District covers 175 square miles in southern and western Wayne County; its district office is located in South Canaan, PA (570) 937-4270. Waymart Borough, Canaan, South Canaan, Lake, Salem, Sterling and part of Clinton townships are in the Western Wayne School District. Its facilities include three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The district serves 2,500 students with a professional staff of 160.

Portions of the county are included in Forest City, North Pocono and Susquehanna School Districts. The Forest City Regional School District covers part of Clinton and Mount Pleasant townships. Susquehanna Community School District covers Starrucca Borough. Lehigh township is included in the North Pocono School Districts. Finally there are six private schools in Wayne County: Canaan Christian Academy, Damascus Christian Academy, Discover The Rainbow, Serendipity Center Early Learning, Inc., Sonshine Christian Preschool and Daycare, St Dominics Academy.

Wayne County has a junior college that offers two-year Associate Degrees. The College's Lake Region Center is located at 8 Silk Mill Dr. in Hawley. For further information about programs or to register for classes, phone 570-226-4625. Lackawanna Junior College is approved by the Pennsylvania State Department of Education and is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association and offers two-year Associate Degrees in multiple disciplines. One-year Certificate Programs are also available. Back to Top