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Liberty or Masonic Hall

Corner of Ninth and Main Street, Honesdale In 1860 Osborn Stillman sold this lot to William J. Fuller and Miles L. Tracy for $940. It had been Lot No. 32 on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. map. Miles Tracy had this brick commercial building erected two stories high. It was known as Liberty Hall. On April 30, 1861 a mass meeting was held at Liberty Hall to kick off Wayne County's Civil War efforts. May 20. 1861 Wayne County's first contingent, the Honesdale Guards, left Honesdale to fight the Civil War. A large group of local people was on hand to give them a grand sendoff. Of the 1,898 men from Wayne County who served in the Civil War, 353 gave the supreme sacrifice. The local women's Soldiers Aid Society proposed a Civil War Monument in Honesdale's Central Park. Over a hundred women attended the society's first meeting that was held at Liberty Hall in June 1865. The monument has been a landmark since 1869. In the early 1900s Liberty Hall had a bowling alley on the second floor. During the 1910's and 1920's, wrestling matches were held here on a regular basis. Newspaper items mention the following events which were held in Liberty Hall: Howard and Campbell's minstrels, 1860; Velocipede race, 1869; a celebrated whistler preformed in 1882; Morosco's Pantomime and Specialty Troup, 1882; Honesdale Oratorio Society concert,1883. In 1917 the executrix of the Mary Hand Tracy estate sold the building to the present owner, the Masonic Hall Association. In 1920 the Masons added a third floor, giving the building its present appearance. For fifty years prior to that time Honesdale's Masonic organizations met on the third floor of the Jadwin-Terrel Building at the corner of Main and Eighth Streets. Honesdale Lodge No. 218 F&AM, Anthony Wayne Royal Arch Chapter No. 204, and Savona Commandery No. 89 continue to hold their meetings in the Masonic Building.

Text by Marge Hook

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.