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Salem Township was formed in 1808 from one of the original townships of Wayne County, Canaan. The area was almost completely covered by valuable forests and an impenetrable undergrowth of rhododendron and laurel, giving the area the name “The Great Swamp.” The principal town was originally called Salem Corners, then Hamlinton, and finally Hamlin. Ledgedale was the site of a tannery built in 1849, and the original name of that community was Tannerytown. Many of the earliest settlers of Salem were veterans of the Revolution from Connecticut. The first frame house was built by Harris Hamlin, and the town was named for his son, Butler Hamlin, postmaster for many years and eventually a judge. In 1801, Joseph Woodbridge and his wife Ann Hollister settled on 400 acres below Hamlin. Later, their three bachelor sons—Egbert, Wells and John—built a stone house that still stands on Route 191, the recipient of a Historic Preservation Award from the Wayne County Historical Society in 2008.
From the collection of the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale. The museum, research library and museum shop are open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.