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.
Ice harvesting season in Lake Huntington, shown here circa early 1920s, used to take place in January or February, depending on thickness of ice. The first hole cut was large enough to hold a wooden chute. Blocks of ice varied in size, from 24 inches square to 22 inches by 42 inches.
James Archbald was born on March 3, 1793 in Ayrshire, Scotland, to a family of shepherds. The family emigrated to the U. S. in 1805 when James was 12 and settled on a farm in New York’s Mohawk Valley. In 1824 he went into the canal and railroad industry, in 1829 replacing John B.
Early settlers along the Delaware often crossed the river in the course of their daily lives. For them, the river was not a state boundary but just one more obstacle to overcome to get where they wanted to go.
Although opened in 1829 for the transportation of anthracite from the coalfields in Lackawanna County to the terminus of the Delaware & Hudson Canal in Honesdale, PA, the D&H Gravity Railroad later came to include passenger cars.