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The Damascus Historical Society

Route 371. Damascus The tiny Gothic Revival building next to the Damascus Elementary School was, for many years in the last century, the office of Dr. Theron Appley and of his son Dr. Otto Appley. Theron's father was Dr. Luther Appley, one of the first physicians and surgeons in the area. Theron Appley was born in 1822 and died in 1888. He married L. Ann Hodges. They and their children, Lillie, Eddy, Chester, and Otto, are buried in the nearby Hillside Cemetery. Otto Appley was born in 1852, married Alice Irvine, and later a second wife. Elizabeth Vail Appley. There were no children. A painting of the Theron Appley house by artist Patty Olver Smith hangs in this museum. The large house, then owned by John and Ruth Olver, was destroyed by tire in 1975. The property was purchased by the Hillside Cemetery Association. In 1994 the Association signed a 99-year lease giving the Damascus Historical Society use of the doctors' office. The circa 1850 building had been vacant since 1888. A dedicated group of volunteers replaced the steep roof, found period windows and doors and painted both the interior and exterior. Items found in the office are displayed in a glass case: a saddlebag, a handmade shoe, medicine bottles, labels for belladonna plaster, cards, fragments of letters, and herbs that had been hanging in the attic for over one hundred years. The society has an extensive collection of Damascus school records and many interesting local artifacts. This charming museum is open on Saturday afternoons from one to four from Memorial Day until fall.

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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.