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The Old Stone Jail

Tenth Street - The earliest jail in Honesdale was a wooden, four-celled building described by a grand jury in the early I850s as "not fit to keep hogs in, much less human beings." The stone jail was built in 1858 at a cost of $16,000 by John Kelly of Kelly and McAndrews. The beautiful stone exterior and narrow windows are typical of the era. The jail was heated by a pot-bellied stove and meals were brought in by the sheriff. Two cells near the entrance were assigned to trustees and were separated from the rest by an iron grate. Cells were small, damp, and in winter, bitterly cold. Each contained an iron bunk and a chair. Although the jail looked secure, it was not. In the years following construction, prisoners found their way out through the roof, by digging through the floor, and with some outside help escaped through the doors and windows. In 1869 some repairs were made and later, guards were assigned to night duty. The old stone jail was condemned in 1936 and a new jail erected between the old jail and the courthouse. Historic Preservation Award given in 2004 to Richard Kreitner for his efforts over the years to preserve this property.

Text by

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.