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John H. Strongman House

Bethany Borough John H. Strongman was born in Bethany. His family's home was located where the former Bethany Homestead Farms' mansion now exists. He joined F. W. Woolworth Company, the five and dime chain, when it had only two stores. He started his career with the company as a buyer and retired in 1912 as an executive. The 1913 assessment records listed two houses on John Strongman's property, while in previous years there had been one. This would lead us to believe the illustrated house was built that year. The occupant's name is unknown. The house became part of the seven hundred fifty acre Bethany Homestead Farms, which existed from the early 1920s until 1961. The farm's final owner was John H. Strongman's daughter. Mrs. Hortense Miller. She employed approximately thirty people, and some of them lived in houses on the property owned by Bethany Homestead Farms. This house was provided to the farm manager and his family. Through the years the men holding that position were Corey Garry, Robert Powers, and Arthur Wiggins. After the farm's cattle were sold, Kathleen McKanna was made office manager, and it became her residence for five years. (Mrs. Miller had New York City interior decorators furnish the house.) Numerous people have owned this property since the early 1960's when Bethany Homestead Farms was sold. Since 1987 it has belonged to Robin Dodson who teaches the Pilates method of body conditioning here in her Stone Gate Studio. The architectural style is Federal Colonial. The exterior is covered with stucco. Most of the six-over-six windows have early-glass panes. The interior's plastered walls, French doors, and oak floors are all originals. We would like to believe the lovely old maple trees that surround the house had been planted under Strongman's direction.

Text by Marge Hook and Gloria McCullough

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.