Pennsylvania Counties
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Pennsylvania Counties

There are sixty-seven counties of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America. The city of Philadelphia is coterminous with Philadelphia County, and governmental functions have been consolidated since 1854.

Wayne County, Pennsylvania

Wayne County Education, Geography, and History

Wayne County, Pennsylvania Courthouse

Wayne is a sixth-class county in Pennsylvania. The county's population was 52,822 at the time of the 2010 United States Census. The county seat is the Borough of Honesdale. The county was formed from part of Northampton County on March 21, 1798, and was named for the Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne

Etymology - Origin of Wayne County Name

Named for General Anthony Wayne.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Wayne County History

Created on March 21, 1798, from part of Northampton County and named for General Anthony Wayne. Honesdale, the county seat after 1842, was laid out in 1827 and incorporated as a borough on January 28, 1831. It was named for Philip Hone, president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. Earlier county seats included Wilsonville (1799-1802), Milford (1802-1805), and Bethany (1805-1841).

Part of the Pennsylvania lands claimed by Connecticut settlers, eventually supported by their government until 1786, this area was also contested with Indians in 1755-1757 and again in the Wyoming Massacre campaign of 1778. At a high altitude and originally heavily forested, Wayne yielded lumber which was floated down the Delaware. This was the first industry. The county was soon found to be good for grazing livestock. Originally not thought to have any coal itself, Wayne profited from being on the route of the coal carrying Delaware and Hudson Canal and its railroad extension from Honesdale to Carbondale. Philip Hone from New York was an early developer. In 1829 the first locomotive to run in North America, the "Stourbridge Lion," ran in Wayne County. Christian Dorflinger came from New York to White Mills in 1865 and built a glassmaking complex. He died in 1915, and his factory closed in 1921. Dairy farming and poultry are important but have declined since 1980. Farms today occupy 30 percent of the land. The county includes the very northeastern tip of the Northern Anthracite field. Mining was profitable from the late nineteenth century until about 1946. Sharing with Pike and Monroe Counties the phenomenal residential growth, produced by immigrants from New York and New Jersey arriving since 1975, the county's economy is now shifted toward tourism, health services, and home construction. Many new dwellings have gone up, mostly outside the old community centers.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 751 square miles (1,944 km2), of which, 729 square miles (1,889 km2) of it is land and 21 square miles (55 km2) of it (2.84%) is water.

The terrain of the county is varied. In the wider northern half, it is rugged along its borders; with higher hills found along the western border, lower ones in the east near the river and a wide plain in the middle. The southern portion tends to be swampier.

The highest elevation in the county, 2,656 feet (809.5 m), is the summit of Mount Ararat in Preston Township, near Orson. Two other summits at the north end of the same ridge also exceed 2,640 feet (804.6 m) elevation. The lowest point is along the Delaware River at the Pike County line, approximately 680 feet (207.2 m).

Most of the county is drained by the Delaware River (which separates it from New York,) except for small western areas drained by the Starrucca Creek and the Lackawanna River into the Susquehanna River.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Broome County, New York (north)
  • Delaware County, New York (northeast)
  • Sullivan County, New York (east)
  • Pike County (south)
  • Monroe County (south)
  • Lackawanna County (west)
  • Susquehanna County (west)


Public school districts

Forest City Regional (also in Lackawanna and Susquehanna)
North Pocono (also in Lackawanna)
Susquehanna Community (also in Susquehanna)
Wallenpaupack Area (also in Pike)
Wayne Highlands
Western Wayne

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