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December 11, 2017
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community living

Looking Back

By Ann O’Hara

Damascus Township, the largest of the original townships created in 1798, is still the largest. Damascus was the site of many historic events, beginning with the first settlement of Cushetunk along the Delaware River. Joseph Skinner and his family, who arrived about 1755, were probably the earliest of the Connecticut settlers. Ownership of the area was in dispute, because King Charles II had granted overlapping charters to both Connecticut and William Penn. Joseph Skinner’s son Daniel ran the first raft down the river ca. 1763, and rafting was for many years a mainstay of the county’s economy. Damascus Township’s large footprint encompasses an equally impressive collection of the events and people of importance in Wayne County’s history. The names of many early settlers can still be heard in the township today: Tyler, Lassley, Keesler, Abraham, Calkin, Conklin, Skinner and many other current residents of the county bear the names of those very early inhabitants and stand as living testimony to their memory.

From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society, 810 Main St., Honesdale. The museum and research library are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.