Rock Lake St. Julianna's Church traces its roots to the Irish settlement begun in 1820 when Philadelphia merchant Richard McAvoy bought 401 acres so his brothers Paul and William McAvoy might settle in Wayne County. Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick made his first visit to the Irish settlement in June of 1834 and notes in his diary. "I celebrated Mass in the shanty of William McAvoy, which is just one room.40 received Holy Communion and 10 were confirmed." In 1837 Neal Kelly deeded 1.2 acres of land to the parish and a modest wooden structure was erected on solid rock. Parishioners raised $370 and did the work themselves. A small altar made by men of that congregation is still in the sacristy of the present church. In 1832 Thomas Cadwalder, who owned much of the northeastern section of Pennsylvania, deeded 77 acres to the parish for $235.97 Philip Brady walked to Philadelphia to secure the deed, and for that effort was given the privilege of renaming the place. Because of the many rocks in the body of water on his land, he called the place Rock Lake. Following the Civil War a much needed church was planned and built by Henry Heath who had built the Allen House in Honesdale. Two huge hemlock trees were hand hewn on site as the church's main supports. Father Thomas Brehoney, priest of the church and an Irish born carpenter, oversaw every detail St Julianna's Church celebrated its sesquicentennial in June of 1988.
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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.
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Wayne County Historical Society P.O. Box 446, 810 Main Street Honesdale, PA 18431 Phone: (570) 253-3240 Fax: (570) 253-5204Powered by TechniServe, Inc.