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Fireproof Building - Bethany Public Library

Bethany - Bethany Borough was established in 1800 as a seat for the new county of Wayne, the location being wilderness that was donated for this purpose by Henry Drinker, an entrepreneur from Philadelphia who wanted the seat of government as close as possible to his maple sugaring enterprise located in Stockport, north of Equinunk. The "Fireproof Building" was built in 1823 to house the county records and the offices of County officials. After the county seat was removed to Honesdale, the "Fireproof' and courthouse became part of the University of Northeast Pennsylvania. This school had up to 200 students but in 1857 the wooded main building burned and the university was closed. The "Fireproof' suffered from neglect until Mrs. John H. Strongman restored it and elaborated on its original rather plain architecture. She established a library within it which was dedicated in 1936. After her death her daughter. Mrs. Hortense Strongman Miller, continued supporting this project. She also established the Bethany Woman's Club which continues to meet in rooms she furnished and which helps to support the library. now incorporated into the Bethany Public Library and Historical Society. The Bethany Borough Council owns. maintains and meets in this building.

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.