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David Wilder Tavern

Bethany David Wilder built this large brick house in 1809. He had come from New Hampshire to Bethany in 1803 and married Sophie Tyler of Damascus. They farmed their 85 acres and in 1811 opened a licensed house and inn. The original license is still in the house. License to a Retailer of Merchandise, including wine and spirits. in the County of Wayne. It is marked No. I and is dated December 31, 1815, according to an Act of Congress passed August 1813. Exterior bricks for the house were said to have come from England and by ox cart from Newberg, New York. The spacious house has eight fireplaces, one in each corner room of the first and second floors . Each floor has a wide central hallway. Charity Wilder, daughter of David and Sophie, married the Honorable James Manning of Bethany. They passed the property to their daughter Alice Manning Paynter and her husband Lee who were the parents of Ernest Paynter, mayor of Bethany, and his wife Elma Foster Paynter, the fourth generation of the same family who owned this historic Georgian house.

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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.