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The Keen House

Keen Lake Road, Canaan Township James Keen Sr., born in 1829, was a son of Elihu Keen, who came to the area from Orange County, New York, purchased 400 acres of the Elk Forest tract, and was a businessman and farmer. When James B. Keen, Sr. lost the large farmhouse that is pictured in Illustrated Wayne, in 1901 to a disastrous fire, and then a second house to another fire, he moved his family into this 1872 building that he had bought to house his ice harvesting workers. Keen Lake. first called Canoe Pond. was considered the best of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company reservoirs. Two beautifully constructed stone arch bridges were built by the company to carry the track of the Gravity Railroad from Honesdale to Carbondale. Later the steam engines used the tracks and Keen Lake was a railroad stop. Hermit Island in the center of the lake was once the site of a dance hall with a flat boat used to carry passengers to picnics and dances. James Keen Sr.'s great grandson, Jim, and his wife Dorothy Davin, built Keen Lake Camping and Cottage Resort to the 300-site complex that it is today. It is now owned by four of their seven daughters, Janet, Jennifer, Jane, and Jim Ann. The well-preserved one-room school-house by the lake, moved from its original site, was used from 1848 to 1894. The house pictured was once heated by a fireplace and pot-bellied stoves. There was a bake oven accessed from the outside. Many members of the Keen family have called it home. Joyce Keen DiBastiani and her husband Dean, owners of the Wallflower Shop in Honesdale, live here with their children Paige, Dean and Dianna Rose. The Keen family and hundreds of vacationers enjoy this peaceful and historic place.

Text by Marge Hook and Sally Eno Soden

Line Drawing by William Amptman

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.