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Looking Back 4/26

Gouldsboro, in Lehigh Township, Wayne County, was named for Jay Gould, infamous “robber baron” of the 19th century. Until the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad opened up the area, it was undeveloped, but with increased access, the acres of virgin hemlock attracted lumbermen and tanners, including in 1856 Jay Gould, who began his fortune by starting a tannery with a partner, Zadock Pratt, at Gouldsboro. In the same year I.L. Simons opened a large hotel. At one time, Gould and Pratt’s tannery was the largest in America.

Unfortunately, Gould was caught cheating his partner and was forced to buy out Pratt, then caught again cheating a new partner. The tannery closed in 1861, but both the town of Gouldsboro and Jay Gould were by then well established. Lehigh Township was created in 1885, the last township in Wayne County. The first school in the township was held in a home in Gouldsboro about 1865, and by 1900 the town had a graded two-room school with two additional rooms added in 1902-03.

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.

 

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