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William Howell Foster House

c1869 1406 N. Main Street, Honesdale William F. Foster was the second son of Mary Howell and Isaac Post Foster. Shortly after befriending Jason Torrey in 1826, his father, Isaac, moved to Honesdale which was then a village of about one hundred people. Isaac and Torrey built and opened the first store. William attended Bloomfield Academy and returned to Seelyville to help on the family farm and tannery. After his father's and oldest brother's retirement, William managed the Foster farm and tannery. When William Foster built this house in 1869, the best master craftsmen of the area were employed and materials' cost were said to be high. When expenses rose above $25,000, legend says, he threw away his pencil and finished the building without further monitoring. Estimates made at the time indicate the final tab amounted to $30,000 including a barn. The bricks in the building were believed to have been made in Honesdale brick yards. The basement is an architectural marvel. Massive stone pillars extend the length of the main hallway. Huge archways divide the subterranean rooms on which the upper floor walls rest. It is believed that this great attention to construction was deemed necessary due to the floods caused by ice jams in the Lackawaxen River. After William Foster's death in 1880, his widow, Harriet Jessup lived there until her death ten years later. Sons. George and William Henry and the latter's wife, Kate Wilsea, sold the property to Thomas B. Clark in 1904. T.B. Clark, encouraged by C. Dorflinger, moved from Connecticut to Honesdale over twenty years previous and established the T.B. Clark & Co. Glass Cutting Shop. It was known as "the university" since most glass cutters of Wayne County, other than those of the Dorflinger Shop, were trained here. Examples of the shop's work are on display at the Wayne County Historical Society Museum. After T.B. Clark's death in 1894, ownership went to his daughter, Faith Clark Morton, of the Morton Salt empire. Being a resident of Illinois, she sold the property to the Wayne County Horne Association in 1946. It functioned as a retirement facility for ambulatory senior citizens, known as Seven Maples, until 1988 when the property was transferred to the present owner, Wayne County Public Library. Architectural style: Late Victorian, Second Empire. Historic Preservation Award given in 1997 to the Wayne County Public Library for this property.

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Line Drawing by Judith Hunt

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.