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First Wayne County Court House

Bethany On March 21, 1798 an Act was passed creating Wayne County from what was formerly the northern part of Northampton County. For one year, the county seat was designated as Milford. but a court house was not built. After much public protest, the county seat was changed to Bethany. On August 12, 1800 construction on the court house began using hand hewn lumber. The frame was raised on September 5th. Common laborers were paid fifty cents per day, carpenters and masons one dollar per day. Board for the men was provided in a newly constructed log house. All the inner walls and ceilings of the rooms were finished with pine boards instead of plaster, since lime was not practical to obtain. In the fall of 1801, the first court house was to be completed but court would not be held there for three years. When it was, the building was too small and it was sold to W.W. Weston & Brothers who moved it across the street to its present location and used it as a store. Over the years there have been several additions to the 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.