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The First Pennsylvania State Armory

The First Pennsylvania State Armory

105 East Park Street Honesdale

In 1911 a red brick, fortress-type, Pennsylvania State Armory was built at East Park Street, Honesdale, in the shadow of Irving Cliff.

Company E needed a permanent home, or it would have had to be disbanded. A local Armory Board, consisting of John D. Weston, M. E. Simons, Judge A. T. Searle, and Homer Greene, headed a fund drive and raised the necessary monies to have the Armory built. The contract was signed on August 17, 1910. The total cost was $23,000, and the State Armory Board gave the amount allowed by law. The architects were McCormick & French of Wilkes-Bane, and Woelkers & Beilman, the contractors.

The dedication was held at the Armory on November 15, 1911. Pennsylvania Governor John K. Tener, who also was president of the State Armory Board, arrived in Honesdale on the D & H train, along with the other Board members. Hundreds of people lined the streets to greet the distinguished group. Col. Louis A. Watres. of Scranton, gave the acceptance speech, while Major General C. Bow Dougherty delivered the Armory to the custody of Company E. The building was the property of the State, but Honesdale remained its custodian.

In November 1940 the young men of Wayne County were asked to go to the Armory and join the National Guard Company H, 109th Infantry. On January 14, 1941 about thirty of them were interviewed for the World War II draft. On February 28, 1941 Company H left for Fort Indiantown Gap, and the start of their wartime service.

On November 18, 1986 the Wayne County YMCA, the present owners, purchased this property from The Town Council of the Borough of Honesdale.

Text by Marge Hook
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.