Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Image of a red-brick courthouse in autumn.
The Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale
Dyberry Forks[1]
Location in Wayne County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Wayne County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Honesdale is located in Pennsylvania
Location of Honesdale in Pennsylvania
Honesdale is located in the United States
Honesdale (the United States)
Coordinates: 41°34′27″N 75°15′21″W / 41.57417°N 75.25583°W / 41.57417; -75.25583
CountryUnited States
US Congressional DistrictPA-8
State Senatorial District20
State House of Representatives District111
School DistrictWayne Highlands
Region II
IncorporatedJanuary 28, 1831[3]
Named forPhilip Hone[3]
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorDerek Williams
 • Borough Council[4]
Council Members
 • US RepresentativeMatt Cartwright (D)
 • State SenatorLisa Baker (R)
 • State RepresentativeJonathan Fritz (R)
 • Total4.02 sq mi (10.42 km2)
 • Land3.88 sq mi (10.05 km2)
 • Water0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)
981[6] ft (299 m)
 • Total4,458
 • Density1,148.38/sq mi (443.41/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight (EDT))
ZIP code
Area code(s)570 and 272
GNIS feature IDs1192628[6][9] (Place)
1192628[9] (Borough)
FIPS code42-35520[10]
Major Roads
WaterwaysBunnells Pond,[11] Carley Brook,[12] Dyberry Creek, Lackawaxen River
WebsiteHonesdale Borough

Honesdale is a borough in and the county seat of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, United States.[13] The borough's population was 4,458 at the time of the 2020 census.[14]

Honesdale is located 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Scranton in a rural area that provides many recreational opportunities, such as boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing, biking, skateboarding, and rafting. Located in a coal mining region, during the nineteenth century it was the starting point of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, which provided for transport of coal to Kingston, New York, and then down the Hudson River to New York City. In the 19th century, the expansion of railroads eventually superseded regular use of the canal.


1890 panoramic map of Honesdale

The discovery of anthracite coal in northeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1800s and the need to transport this valuable fuel to New York City gave birth to the Delaware and Hudson Canal, the American Railroad, and the Borough of Honesdale.[15] Honesdale was named for Philip Hone, former Mayor of New York and president of Honesdale's Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Canal Company. Honesdale, originally called "Dyberry Forks," was laid out as a village in 1826 when the D & H Canal was created.[1] It was incorporated as a borough on January 28, 1831.[3]

The Honesdale Residential Historic District and the D&H Canal are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[16]

Birthplace of American railroading

Further information: Delaware and Hudson Gravity Railroad

Honesdale is home to the first commercial steam locomotive run on rails in the United States, the Stourbridge Lion. On August 8, 1829, the Stourbridge Lion started in Honesdale, ran three miles to Seelyville, and returned; Honesdale, therefore, is known as the birthplace of the American Railroad.[17]

The Stourbridge Lion, owned by the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Canal Company was regrettably considered too heavy for further use.[18] D&H transported anthracite coal from mines near Carbondale to New York City via Honesdale and Kingston, New York. Coal was moved by a unique gravity-railroad from the mines to Honesdale where it was transferred to barges and transported via a 108-mile canal to Kingston, New York, then shipped by river barges down the Hudson River to New York City.

What remained of the Stourbridge Lion passed into many hands over the coming years and was eventually acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in 1890. The main boiler is currently on loan at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.[18]

The Wayne County Historical Society Museum contains a full-scale replica of the Stourbridge Lion; the Society also displays many historical photographs, artifacts and other exhibits. The D&H Railroad Company built the replica using original blueprints for the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The replica was relocated to Honesdale in 1941.[18]

Passenger excursions run seasonally from Honesdale to Hawley along the historic Stourbridge Line. The railroad runs twenty-five miles along the Lackawaxen River. Excursions depart from the platform at the Wayne County Visitors Center.[19]


Honesdale is located at 41°34′27″N 75°15′21″W / 41.57417°N 75.25583°W / 41.57417; -75.25583 (41.574214, -75.255966).[20]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which 3.9 square miles (10 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (2.5%) is water of the Lackawaxen River, which flows through the heart of the town, and its confluence with Dyberry Creek. The waters contain fish and other aquatic life and attract hundreds of ducks, as well as eagles and other raptors.

800 Block of Main Street, Honesdale


Historical population

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,480 people, 2,086 households, and 1,147 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,148.7 inhabitants per square mile (443.5/km2). There were 2,357 housing units at an average density of 604.4 per square mile (233.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.8% White, 0.9% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population.

There were 2,086 households, out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 22.4% under the age of 18, 58.8% from 18 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years.

The median income for a household in the borough was $32,644, and the median income for a family was $42,088. Males had a median income of $33,553 versus $30,179 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,122. About 19.1% of families and 19.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.4% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

Media and publications

The daily newspaper, The Wayne Independent, was established at Honesdale in 1878, and emphasizes local stories. As of October 2019, The Wayne Independent is now The Tri-County Independent, its publisher having forced its merger with four former newspapers it owned.[24]

The local radio stations are WDNH 95.3 FM and WPSN 104.3FM, 101.9FM and 1590am. In addition to local news, events, and weather, WPSN broadcasts the Honesdale Hornets High School football games every Friday night during football season.

The children's magazine Highlights for Children, a monthly magazine for children ages 6 to 12, was founded in Honesdale in 1946. The magazine features fiction stories, nonfiction articles, brainteasers, and puzzles, including Hidden Pictures puzzles. The publisher maintains its editorial headquarters on Church St. in Honesdale, while their business offices are in Columbus, Ohio. Highlights International's products are available in 40 countries and in 16 languages.[25]

Yoga International, based in Honesdale, publishes online content on yoga, meditation, and mindful living. In 2018 Yoga International was recognized as the 122nd fastest growing private companies in the United States on Inc.'s 500|5000 list.[26]


Honesdale High School is a public, four-year, regional high school serving grades 9-12 in Honesdale, as a part of the Wayne Highlands School District. The district includes four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Stourbridge Primary Center and Lakeside Elementary School serves children from Honesdale, and Wayne Highlands Middle School serve grades 6-8 in Honesdale. In 2006, the district was recognized for excellence in teaching, and has a long tradition of requiring standards of its graduates well beyond state regulations.[27]


The hospital serving Honesdale and the surrounding communities is Wayne Memorial Hospital. Wayne Memorial Hospital is a non-profit, community-controlled hospital based in Honesdale with inpatient and outpatient care in more than 30 medical specialties. Wayne Memorial Hospital is the heart of Wayne Memorial Health System, which serves 100,000 people across Wayne and Pike Counties. The clinical affiliate, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, operates primary care services around the county, dental services, women’s health and behavioral health centers.[28][29] A $40 million dollar expansion of the hospital was completed in 2019. The 85,000 square foot tower houses 50 private patient rooms and technology designed to reduce the risk for infection, enhance communication and decrease noise levels.[30]

First Presbyterian Church


Arts and culture

The Wayne County Arts Alliance is a non-profit organization of volunteers interested in the benefits of arts in the county. One of its initiatives is The Great Wall of Honesdale, a large public art display at the intersection of 4th Street and Main Street.[33][34] In addition, there are several murals along Honesdale’s Main Street and in its vicinity.[35]

Honesdale hosts the annual Wayne County Fair, starting on the first Friday in August and spans nine days. It features typical county-fair events, such as concession stands, harness racing, livestock contests, amusement rides, and concerts. Nearly 100,000 visitors attend the fair each year.[36]

The Honesdale Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts Festival is held throughout Honesdale on the third Saturday in June. The main stage is set up along Court Street playing to festival goers in Central Park. Artists and food vendors are lined along the park. Several other stages are set up throughout the town offering music all day.[37]

The Cooperage Project is housed in a restored barrel making factory. In 2019 the Cooperage Project held 350 events, including 65 musical and theater performances. Educational programs are also provided for all ages. The Main Street Farmers' Market, run from the facility, allows farmers to sell directly to the community.[38]

The Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy is a non-profit organization providing yoga, meditation, and spiritual programs. The organization was founded in 1971 by Swami Rama, and its world headquarters are located in Honesdale. The Himalayan Institute has a number of humanitarian projects underway in Cameroon, India, and Mexico. In additional, the Himalayan Institute also operates Yoga International magazine.[39]

Notable people

In popular culture



See also


  1. ^ a b Mathews, Alfred (1886). History of Wayne, Pike, and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: R.T. Peck & Company. p. 489. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Borough". HonesdalePA.net. HonesdalePA.net. 2012. Archived from the original on September 20, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Welcome to Honesdale Borough". Honesdale Borough. Honesdale Borough. 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "Council Members". Honesdale Borough. Honesdale Borough. 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Honesdale". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. August 2, 1979. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  8. ^ "Look up a ZIP Code". USPS.COM. USPS. 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Borough of Honesdale". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 30, 1990. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  10. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. Census 2000. "Census Demographic Profiles, Honesdale Borough" (PDF). CenStats Databases. Retrieved January 31, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)[dead link]
  11. ^ "Bunnells Pond". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 2, 1979. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  12. ^ "Carley Brook". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. August 2, 1979. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search". Census.gov. U.S. Department of Commerce. 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "About Us | Wayne County, PA". waynecountypa.gov. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  16. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  17. ^ "Stourbridge Lion". www.waynehistorypa.org. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c "Stourbridge Lion". American-Rails.com. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  19. ^ "About the Stourbridge Line". THE STOURBRIDGE LINE. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  20. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  23. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  24. ^ "Newspapers Merging in Wayne, Lackawanna, Pike Counties". WNEP.com. September 10, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  25. ^ "About Us". Highlights for Children. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  26. ^ GmbH, finanzen net. "Yoga International Named One of the 2018 Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies | Markets Insider". markets.businessinsider.com. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  27. ^ "Wayne Highlands School District :: About Us". www.whsdk12.com. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  28. ^ "About Wayne Memorial Hospital | Non-Profit, Community-Controlled Hospital". Wayne Memorial Hospital. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  29. ^ "Wayne Memorial Hospital | Wayne County, PA". waynecountypa.gov. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  30. ^ "Wayne Memorial Ribbon Cutting for New Tower". Wayne Memorial Hospital. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  31. ^ [1] Archived January 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ a b "Wayne County Historical Society". Waynehistorypa.org. 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  33. ^ kurteccp. "About". Wayne County Art Alliance. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  34. ^ kurteccp. "The Great Wall of Honesdale". Wayne County Art Alliance. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  35. ^ Lepro, Elizabeth (August 29, 2019). "Making of a mural". The River Reporter. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  36. ^ "About". Wayne County Fair. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  37. ^ Honesdale Roots and Rhythm
  38. ^ "Annual Report 2019 The Cooperage Project". Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  39. ^ himalayan2 (March 28, 2016). "About". Himalayan Institute. Retrieved January 17, 2020.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  40. '^ John J. Boyle, letter to Howard W. Cannon, reprinted in United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Rules and Administration (1977). Nomination of John J. Boyle to be Public Printer: Hearings Before the Committee on Rules and Administration, United States Senate, Ninety-fifth Congress, First Session, October 19 and 26, 1977. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 2.
  41. ^ Brice, Nakeyva. "Psyography: Florence L. Goodenough". Psyography: Florence L. Goodenough. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2016. Florence L. Goodenough was born on August 6th, 1886 in Honesdale, Pennsylvania
  42. ^ Cohen, Shawn (June 4, 2012). "Lauren Spierer mystery: New accounts say she staggered away after night of heavy drinking, drug use". The Journal News.
  43. ^ "Friends of Lauren Spierer Reflect, Take Action". USA Today. November 10, 2011.
  44. ^ Mattise, Nathan (March 22, 2017). "Highlights doesn't kid around when it comes to science and tech". Ars Technica. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  45. ^ "Local Dairy Farm featured in New Netflix Documentary". waynepikenews.com. Retrieved January 17, 2020.