HAWLEY – Although Hawley Borough was carved from Palmyra Township, Wayne County when the borough was formed in 1884, a map exists that shows the town was previously split between Palmyra and Paupack townships. It shows the town divided by its water ways, with East Hawley and Shanty Hill (Marble Hill) in Palmyra Township and everything south/ west of the Middle Creek and Lackawaxen River in Paupack.
    Was this an error of the map maker?

 HAWLEY – Although Hawley Borough was carved from Palmyra Township, Wayne County when the borough was formed in 1884, a map exists that shows the town was previously split between Palmyra and Paupack townships. It shows the town divided by its water ways, with East Hawley and Shanty Hill (Marble Hill) in Palmyra Township and everything south/ west of the Middle Creek and Lackawaxen River in Paupack.
    Was this an error of the map maker?
*** Village of many names
    The community of Hawley, Pennsylvania, known by various names, extends back to the 1790’s when a few hardy pioneers gathered at the foot of the mighty Paupack Falls to harness its power for manufacturing.
   Known as Paupack Eddy for the swirl the falls made at the confluence with the Lackawaxen River, the hamlet was not at the southern border of Wayne County as it is today. The hamlet didn’t move; the political boundaries did, and would shift more than once over the next century.
   Paupack Eddy started in about the middle of a much greater expanse of Palmyra Township, within the northern wilderness reaches of Northampton County. The county seat was far removed, in Easton. In 1798, Wayne County was formed, but the new county was much larger than today. It included the territory of what would become Pike County in 1814.
   What little difference all this might have made to the pioneers, who were concerned with survival as they tamed the virgin landscape claimed from its native inhabitants only a few decades earlier. Who came to collect the taxes, however, probably changed.
   The budding hamlet of Paupack Eddy was eclipsing the older, industrial hamlet of Wilsonville about a mile west, upstream on the Wallenpaupack River where a large waterfall was made to run the mills.
The arrival of the D&H Canal in the 1820’s and the Pennsylvania Coal Company (PCC) gravity railroad in the late 1840’s created a population boom and the swift development of the town. The postal department changed the name three times; Paupack Eddy became Falls Port in 1848, Hawleysburgh in 1849 and finally Hawley in 1851.
  Paupack Eddy served as the principal village within the very rural and rugged expanse of Palmyra Township. Annexations were taking place among the early townships, gradually changing the municipal map as areas became more settled.
*** Paupack Township formed
  Paupack Township was established on September 1, 1850, formed from the southwestern section of Palmyra Township. Residents of that region had petitioned the Wayne County Court so they wouldn’t have to travel so far to vote.  The southern border, with Pike County, followed the Wallenpaupack River- the lake was still more than 75 years in the future.
  The eastern boundary of Paupack Township is currently Owego Turnpike. This important early road was established in 1833, west of the village of Paupack Eddy and separated from it by a long ridge which has been heavily quarried for many years.
  A map of Wayne County published in 1860, however, shows quite a different story. The large map, with a scale of 1-¼ inch to a mile, was published by M.S. & E. Converse, Philadelphia, using “entirely new and original surveys.” The map was supervised by a civil engineer, G.M. Hopkins, Jr.
*** Splits Hawley along river
      It implies that Hawley at that time was evenly split down the middle, with half in Palmyra Township and half in Paupack Township.
    The map shows everything on the south/ west side of Middle Creek and from where the Lackawaxen River meets the creek to the Eddy Section, in Paupack Township. That includes the whole present downtown, the entire length of Church Street, Welwood Avenue and all the adjoining streets.
   Palmyra Township included everything north/ east- including Shanty Hill (known today as Marble Hill), the canal basin area (Bingham Park), East Hawley and all along what is currently known as Hudson Street and side streets.
    The entire southern and eastern boundaries of Paupack Township were therefore marked by water courses.  Paupack’s eastern boundary continued to follow the winding Middle Creek up past Wangum Falls, on this 1860 map. In this area, the creek is on the west side of the Owego Turnpike rather than the east.
   As this map shows, Paupack included a large, roughly triangular wedge of land in the east that is no longer part of Paupack’s territory.
Today, the eastern edge completely follows Owego Turnpike. Starting at the point where the Owego crosses the Middle Creek, northwest of Hawley, Paupack Township today follows the Owego on the eastern side of the creek.
   If this map is accurate, it could be that Palmyra Township took back this wedge of land possibly in early 1860. In a swap, Paupack at the same time may have claimed the northern piece on the eastern side of the creek to the turnpike.
    A check of 1860 Census records for Hawley residents known to have resided at that time south/ west of the creek and river, however, lists them as being in Palmyra, not Paupack Township. The 1860 Census shows data as of June 1st. When the map was published in 1860 has not been learned.
  Perhaps the survey data used for the map was from 1859, and the map was published before the Census came out in 1860. The land swap might have occurred while the map was being printed.
   It would be useful to research the early township minutes from Palmyra and Paupack townships, but an inquiry at both of their municipal offices determined that records that old are missing.
*** Hawley vs. East Hawley
     There may be a clue from the history reported about the changes in post offices in Hawley.
   A Honesdale journalist and area historian, Thomas J. Ham, wrote a series of articles published in the Honesdale Citizen, 1905- 1907. He wrote that Hawley’s (Paupack Eddy’s) first post office was set up in 1837 on the west side of the Lackawaxen. In 1847 the post office moved to the east side of the river and the town was renamed as Falls Port.
In 1849 the post office went back to the west side and the town became Hawleysburg. The second syllable was soon dropped, to name the town as Hawley. This was suggested by Patrick Jordan, postmaster. The name honored Irad Hawley, president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, which was then planning its gravity railroad operations here.
 The post office was at the corner of what is now River Street and Wangum Avenue.
  There was so much discontent with the post office moving back to the west side of town, that in 1851 the postal department was petitioned to establish a second post office. This was set up on the east side of the river, and was known as East Hawley. The East Hawley post office was in the PCC’s hotel building known as the Ewen House, where the medical center now stands at Spruce and Hudson streets. E. Richardson was postmaster of East Hawley. Four years later, however, the Postmaster General discontinued the East Hawley post office.
   Is it possible that the dissatisfaction over the placement of the post office on the west or east sides had any connection with Paupack Township annexing the half of the town west of the river in 1850?     More information might be brought to light by a search of old Honesdale newspapers from the late 1850’s and 1860 available at the Wayne County Historical Society. Another possibility is to search back through deeds of properties in Hawley south/ west of the river that might show whether Palmyra or Paupack township was listed in deeds filed in that period. These are found at the Wayne County Courthouse.
   This story is not done.
   In Part 2 we will discuss the formation of Hawley as a borough in 1884.
Sources:
•       The Nomenclature of Wayne by Thomas J. Ham (1905-1907), reprinted by George H. Fluhr in 1995
•       History of Hawley, PA by Michael J. McAndrew, (1927) •       The 1860 map of Wayne County, PA may be viewed at the Wayne County Historical Society museum in Honesdale. It is also may be inspected on the U.S. Library of Congress web site.
See: http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3823w.la000819/