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Pictured on the front is the entrance of the former office of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co., 810 Main Street, Honesdale, PA. The canal company built this brick building in 1860 after losing at least one prior office in Honesdale to fire. Strategically locating it near where the company’s gravity railroad and canal met, the employees inside could keep a close eye on the activities outside their back door.
In 1923, with the canal era over, the Wayne County Historical Society was granted a lease from the Delaware & Hudson Co. to use the north half of the building for storage while the Hudson Coal Co. used the south half. The Society opened the museum to the public in 1939. The Department of the Interior designated the building as a National Historic Landmark in 1968, and the Society took over the entire building soon after. An addition to the west was built in 1979 and another to the south in 1993, which houses the replica of the Stourbridge Lion, the first locomotive to operate on commercial tracks in the United States.
In 1997 a glass hallway was completed connecting the north side of the building to the Jason Torrey Land Office (at left), which had been moved to the site in 1981, saving it from demolition. An eighty-five thousand dollar multiyear exterior restoration of both buildings was completed in 1999.
Through these many building changes, the Wayne County Historical Society has tried to keep up with the public’s increasing interest in local history while preserving the original building's simple beauty.