Lock 31 House
Route 6, Palmyra Township
This historic property started life as a frame house called "New Castle" when it was built on a property purchased by Jason Torrey, Abisha Woodward, and Moses Killam early in the 1800s. In 1821 Moses Killam sold the house and about 260 acres to Russell Daniels. It was then called the Daniels Farm. When the Delaware & Hudson Canal with Lock 31 was built directly behind the house in 1827, the value of the property increased greatly. Phineas Goodrich, in his History of Wayne County (1880) says, "Daniels... became a noted lumberman" and in 1860, Daniels estimated the value of his real estate at $10.000, a large amount at that time. Russell Daniels died in 1863 and his third son, Ira Daniels, bought the property from the other heirs.
In 1878 Ira Daniels lost the property in a Sheriffs Sale to Thomas V. Taft. who sold it to Ernst A. Hintze. a grocer from Brooklyn. Mr. Hintze extensively remodeled the house, received a liquor license, and opened for business as a hotel fronting on the canal. The door on the canal side still bears the name "Hintze's." His obituary in 1901 notes that he "erected a small store where he did considerable business in groceries with the boatmen on the canal." After Hintze's death and several different owners, Mrs. John Selberg of Queens, NY, bought the property in 1910. Anna Selberg's children, Frederick, Anna, Mae, and William, lived there until their deaths. In 1996, after William's death. Robert Olsen. a cousin, and his wife Debbie inherited the property.
Robert Olsen died in 1997, and in 2001 The Wayne County Historical Society purchased the house and ten acres from Debbie Olsen. It was her wish that the historic property be preserved. The Society, which already owns a mile of the canal, plans to restore the building as a living history museum with a walk along the old towpath and canal. This long-term project will preserve a very important part of Wayne County history and a beautiful section of the D&H Canal.
Text by Marge Hook and Sally Eno Soden
Line Drawing by William Amptman
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.