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Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Birthplace of America’s Railroad

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Founded in 1826, Honesdale, Pennsylvania is located near the Northern Pocono Mountains and 32 miles northeast of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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 and ran three miles to Seelyville, and back. Therefore, Honesdale, is known as the birthplace of the American Railroad. Most crosswalks in Honesdale are train track designed in honor of Honesdale being the birthplace of the American railroad.

The famous Christmas/winter song, Winter Wonderland, written by Felix Bernard and Richard Smith, was based on Honesdale’s Central Park. Smith, who is a Honesdale native, was inspired when he saw the park covered in snow. Unless you live under a train track, I’m sure you have all heard  this song.

In May of 1859, a group of political leaders began a “movement” to nominate former president Abraham Lincoln to be the presidential candidate for the Republican Party in a small house in Honesdale. You can see the picture of the house and sign below.

Irving Cliff has a great view of Honesdale. You can see much of the city from here, the cliff is free to access. During the 4th of July fireworks are set off from here so people Downtown, including Central Park, can view them at night. During Easter, a cross is lit and during Thanksgiving through Christmas a star is lit at the cliff.

In Downtown you will find many family owned shops. Ditch the large corporations of the city and indulge on small town shops filled with gifts, antiques, clothes and much more. Honesdale has a great variety of thrift and consignment stores available. In other words, there is something for everyone. Once you are done shopping, have an ice-cream and relax at Central Park, maybe you’ll run into a local concert during the summer.

I’ve spent a great amount of time in Honesdale over the past 12 months and so far I’ve had no complaints. It is a nice small-town with a a lot of history and family activities. I really recommend everyone to give this small town a visit, you won’t regret it. Feel free to ask any questions below.

Places to stay:

  • Hotel Wayne
  • The James Manning House, Bed & Breakfast

Best places to eat:

  • Pennsyltucky Grill
  • Paulies Hot Dog
  • Tick Tocks
  • Kim’s Pub & Grub (Ask for Caitlyn, she is awesome!)
  • Beach Lake Bakery
  • Philadelphia Water Ice (IceCream)
  • Halfway House Family Restaurant
  • Two Guys From Italy Pizzeria & Restaurant
  • Dyberry Forks (they have an amazing chef, Benji)
  • Camp Umpy’s Bagels & Stuff
  • Sonny’s Bar & Grill
  • Hotel Wayne Restaurant

Places to visit & Things to do:

  • Wayne County Fair (first Friday of August, 9 days long) (click here for the review)
  • Honesdale Central Park
  • Irving Cliff
  • Gravity Bowling Alley
  • Historical Society and Museum
  • See the Stourbridge Lion train
  • The Honesdale Courthouse (1880s architecture)
    • 9/11 memorial
    • MIA/POW memorial
    • Soldiers memorial
    • Old courthouse

Whether you like to shop, fish, hunt or simply workout, there is definitely something for you to do and see in Honesdale. Despite only having approximately 5,000 residents and 4.0 sq miles, Honesdale will keep you busier than the city, in a good way. Enjoy the Honesdale experience!

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Historical Society and Museum

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Historical Society and Museum

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9/11 memorial near the courthouse

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Hotel Wayne

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Stourbridge Lion train

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The Wayne County courthouse

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The Wayne County courthouse

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Honesdale Central Park

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Honesdale Central Park

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Honesdale Central Park

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Old Courthouse

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Tallman Bridge

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Honesdale crosswalks

Honesdale crosswalks

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Star & Cross at Irving Cliff. The cross is only lit during Easter and the star from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

 

Lincoln nomination

Lincoln nomination

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View from Irving Cliff

View from Irving Cliff

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View from Irving Cliff

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About Adam (493 Articles)
Frequent Flyer. Scuba Diver. Travel Blogger. [Follow me on Twitter: @iAdumb]

2 Comments on Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Birthplace of America’s Railroad

  1. Pat Coggins // August 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm //

    Wow some one did a great job with showing some of Honesdale at its best, its my town and I am proud to say it.

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