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Honesdale in Wayne County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Washington Irving and the “Irving Cliff” Hotel

The Irving Cliff

 
 
Washington Irving and the "Irving Cliff" Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 7, 2018
1. Washington Irving and the "Irving Cliff" Hotel Marker
Inscription.  

Author and editor Washington Irving was born in New York City on April 3, 1783. Irving achieved international fame for his fictional works, including the stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as well as for his biographies and historical writings. Irving also served as the United States ambassador to Spain and helped to promote international copyright laws. He was named Washington after the hero of the American Revolution (which had just ended), George Washington, and attended the first presidential inauguration of his namesake in 1789.

Irving once took a trip to Honesdale and later described in a letter to his sister in glowing terms, "Honesdale is situated between high hills on a plane through which two romantic mountain streams flow, uniting in the village and forming the Lackawaxen River. There are two wide basins where the streams unite, and the water was formed into the two most picturesque lakes. From the eastern shore of one of these, Lake Dyberry, a solid ledge of serried and moss-grown slate rock rises almost sheer to the height of nearly 400 feet."

This beautiful blending of rock, lake

Washington Irving and the "Irving Cliff" Hotel Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 7, 2018
2. Washington Irving and the "Irving Cliff" Hotel Marker
Atop Irving Cliff overlooking Honesdale
and stream elicited many expressions of delight from Irving, and he insisted on scaling the rocky height in order to study the surrounding scenery. The entire company climbed to the summit. The delight of Irving was so great when he reached the summit, that Philip Hone (Mayor of New York City 1825-1826 and first President of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company) insisted that the ledge be known as Irving Cliff.

The Irving Cliff Hotel

In 1883, on the summit of this historic cliff, construction of a large summer hotel was begun. The four-story castellated building had a capacity of 200 guests and was furnished throughout with modern improvements. There were 125 spacious bedrooms, each having its individual bathroom. It had broad verandas overlooking the scene that had so entranced Washington Irving, was elegant in all its appointments, heated by steam and open grate fires, and was supplied with an elevator. The hotel was surrounded by ample grounds, shady groves, rugged rocks, fine walks and drives in all directions. Their advertising proudly proclaimed the best of water from a celebrated mountain spring, and its high altitude, pure mountain air and good sewage, rendering it absolutely free from mosquitoes!

The formal opening of the Irving Cliff Hotel was not scheduled until June 22, 1889 and was being readied for the grand opening when disaster

View of Lackawaxen River and Honesdale from Irving Cliff image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 7, 2018
3. View of Lackawaxen River and Honesdale from Irving Cliff
struck. The hotel was completely destroyed by fire on May 28. It was never rebuilt and nothing else has ever been built on the site. It is now a public park, and while the view has been altered by time, it is still one of the most arresting in Wayne County. Visit the Wayne County Historical Society on Main Street for more information and photographs.
 
Erected by Honesdale Jaycees.
 
Location. 41° 34.701′ N, 75° 15.124′ W. Marker is in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, in Wayne County. Touch for map. Marker is in Gibbons Memorial Park, near the Star/Cross at the top of Irving Cliff. Marker is in this post office area: Honesdale PA 18431, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gibbons Memorial Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Jennie Brownscombe Birthplace (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wayne County Walk of Honor (approx. ¼ mile away); First Baptist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); The Tallman Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); World War II Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Wayne County Civil War Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wayne County (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Honesdale.
 
Also see . . .
1. Irving Cliff & Gibbons Memorial Park. (Submitted on December 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Washington Irving Bio. (Submitted on December 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Washington Irving Bio. (Submitted on December 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. DisastersEnvironmentMan-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational Areas
 
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 53 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 8, 2018, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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