Paupack Eddy was just the beginning. The community we know and love as Hawley, Pa., has been known by other names as well.


By PETER BECKER
Managing Editor
Paupack Eddy was just the beginning. The community we know and love as Hawley, Pa., has been known by other names as well.
Last week’s column focused on the rise of the village of Paupack Eddy, which developed at the base of the (Wallenpaupack) Paupack Falls. A cascading river powered a series of mills and factories, starting in the early 1790’s. Where the PPL dam was built in the first half of the 1920’s, the river poured over a wide ridge of rock and powered a mill. This became the center of a hamlet that came to be called Wilsonville for its benefactor, US Supreme Court Judge James Wilson. Other mills and factories used the falls on the way down to where the Wallenpaupack meets the Lackawaxen River.
Canal towns
At this confluence arose Paupack Eddy, and has ever since been remembered as the Eddy section of Hawley. The settlement expanded on the other side of the Lackawaxen, along what we know as Hudson Street, and was eventually known as East Hawley.
As told in the previous article, the coming of the Delaware & Hudson (D&H) Canal in the 1820’s spurred the growth of the settlement, bringing in Irish and German workers who labored on the canal.
No one at that time would have considered this would ever be named Hawley. Yet a tiny settlement up river had already changed its name. Dyberry Forks started as a hamlet at the confluence of the Lackawaxen and the Dyberry Creek, once the D&H managers decided this would be where their grand canal would begin, and their gravity rail system would deliver the coal being uncovered in the Lackawanna Valley. By 1827, Dyberry Forks took up the name of Honesdale, honoring the president of the company, Philip Hone. Hawley came before Honesdale. That is, by its original name, Paupack Eddy predated the canal town of Dyberry Forks by nearly 30 years.
By the late 1820’s, Paupack Eddy was bustling with canal work and catering to the lumber trade. The hills around were barren of trees. Virgin timber was being floated down the Lackawaxen to join the traffic of rafts on the Delaware, heading to market.
Turnpike
With the canal beginning operation in 1828, a turnpike was opened between Honesdale and  Paupack Eddy. Now known as part of Route 6 or the Texas-Palmyra Highway, charges were levied by gate keepers who turned a pole, or “pike” to let wagons and coaches pass.
Although an 1872 map shows a toll gate house was in place just west of the present borough line, a small stone shelter about the size of a bus stop a little further west may have been for collecting tolls. The structure, without a roof, stands across Route 6 from the Wayne County Historical Society’s Lock 31 Canal House. The late Theodore Moser, who lived at Swamp Brook, in 1998 affirmed this was the case. He was 84 at the time. The use as a tollgate has not yet been confirmed.
The road was lined with wooden planks to keep travelers out of the mud.  At Paupack Eddy, the plank road extended parallel to the Lackawaxen River, with the canal between the road and the river. Along this section, what we now know as Hudson Street, was the business center for the early village.
The  Milford & Owego Turnpike opened in 1833 (still known as the Owego Turnpike), passing west of Paupack Eddy. A road was made connecting the village with the new turnpike over Marble Hill- what we know as Columbus Avenue.
The Baptists formed the first church in the community on Nov. 29, 1834, with 18 members. They met in a schoolhouse. The Presbyterians started their church in 1849, on Prospect Street (East Hawley).
 In 1837, a post office was established for Paupack Eddy, Pa. James S. Bassett was the first postmaster. The office was located  on the east side of the river until Orrin Hall succeeded Bassett in 1842. It was then located in his store on the west side.
Falls Port & Hawleysburg
In  1847 the post office was relocated across the river to East Hawley and the name was changed by the postal authorities to Falls Port, suggested by the beautiful Paupack Falls. William C. Conklin was postmaster. Today’s Falls Port restaurant in Hawley honors that former name of the community.
In 1849, when Henry B. Hayes was postmaster, the office was moved back the west side of the river and the post office- and thus the town- was renamed, Hawleysburg. (Note: Early histories are somewhat contradictory on where the changeable post office was relocated.)
The name was in honor of Irad Hawley, president of the newly formed Pennsylvania Coal Company, which was establishing a gravity railroad as an alternative route to bring freshly mined coal to the waiting D&H canal boats- at Hawley. The  gravity railroad started running in 1850.
As detailed in a previous article, the Pa. Coal Company brought a  tremendous economic benefit to the town, with the need for workers. The village had been in somewhat of a decline with the finishing of the canal.
In 1849, Levi Barker began constructing canal boats next to the canal basin, in what is now Bingham Park.
 Because of the gravity railroad and transfer operations  at  the canal, the town enlarged, expanding westward. An inferno in the business section of East Hawley in1864 also helped prompt the relocation of the business district west of the Lackawaxen and Middle Creek, where it has been ever since.
Shanty Hill was established at this time along the Middle Creek, for the great influx of Irish laborers and their families- later known as Marble Hill.
A landmark business in Hawley and one of the town’s earlier buildings  to survive, is the Eddy Hotel, built in 1850 and operated by Joseph Atkinson. This is now known as Cora’s 1850 Bistro restaurant. The Atkinson family settled in Paupack Eddy in 1812 and had a prosperous box factory and lumber mill.
In 1848, James J. T. Cromwell erected a large tannery at the foot of the Paupack Falls, on the Pike side by the bridge.  This prosperous business continued until 1882. A collection of homes built on the Pike County side of the Eddy became known as Cromwelltown. Today accessed only by the Cromwelltown Bridge across the Wallenpaupack Creek, the main road in the hamlet at one time continued to Kimbles.
Cromwell built a school there in 1849, next to his tannery.
Another business that started in this time period- and still operating 162 years later- was that of Richard Adam Teeter in 1849, who sold (and made) furniture and caskets.
Let’s call it Hawley
In 1851, after being named Hawleysburg,  the next postmaster Patrick Jordan took over. He suggested dropping the last syllable to the name of the town, and thus, “Hawley” was established.
For a span of four years, however, beginning in 1851, the community was divided into two with a second post office established for East Hawley. E. Richardson was postmaster at East Hawley, with the office located at the massive Ewen House on the corner of what is today Route 6 and Spruce Street, the present site of medical offices.
All of this occurred within the life span of the oldest residents who were alive in the pioneer days as Paupack Eddy began to be forged from the wilderness.
Today, Hawley has a surname-, so to speak- Hawley Borough. This came about Jan. 23, 1884, the beginning of another new era in Hawley history. The borough was separated from Palmyra Township.  In another year, the  Pa. Coal Company gravity railroad was to give way to steam locomotives, and end the need to transfer coal at Hawley- putting many laborers out of work. It was another time of change.