|US Congressional District||PA-8|
|State Senatorial District||20|
|State House of Representatives District||111|
|School District||Wayne Highlands|
|Incorporated||January 28, 1831|
|Named for||Philip Hone|
|• Mayor||Derek Williams|
|• Borough Council|
|• US Representative||Matt Cartwright (D)|
|• State Senator||Lisa Baker (R)|
|• State Representative||Jonathan Fritz (R)|
|• Total||4.02 sq mi (10.42 km2)|
|• Land||3.88 sq mi (10.05 km2)|
|• Water||0.14 sq mi (0.36 km2)|
|Elevation||981 ft (299 m)|
|• Density||1,148.38/sq mi (443.41/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||570 and 272|
|GNIS feature IDs||1192628 (Place)|
|Waterways||Bunnells Pond, Carley Brook, Dyberry Creek, Lackawaxen River|
Honesdale is a borough in and the county seat of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, United States. The borough's population was 4,458 at the time of the 2020 census.
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 In the 19th century, the expansion of railroads eventually superseded regular use of the canal.
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. 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. It was incorporated as a borough on January 28, 1831.
The Honesdale Residential Historic District and the D&H Canal are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
The Stourbridge Lion, owned by the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Canal Company was regrettably considered too heavy for further use. 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.
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.
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.
Honesdale is located at (41.574214, -75.255966).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. In addition, there are several murals along Honesdale’s Main Street and in its vicinity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Florence L. Goodenough was born on August 6th, 1886 in Honesdale, Pennsylvania