John Lord I (see Kilgour Spur for more info on John Lord I) was a soldier for the British in the French and Indian War in the 1760s. As a result of his service and loyalty to the crown, the King of England granted some 690 acres of land to John Lord after the war, with ~200 of those acres containing what is current-day Lordville. John Lord I later served in the Revolutionary War with his best friend, Deliverance Adams while he lived in Mamakating, NY. 

The two friends each married Native Americans, moved to the Lords plot of land granted by the King of England, and John Lord built a house in what is currently the Kilgour Spur neighborhood of Lordville. This exact plot of land later became Hancock District No. 19, and contains the hamlets of Kilgour Spur and Lordville. The deed for the land was signed in 1805, and the land was first called Elam, NY. 

There is very little evidence of the village being named Elam, except for the creation of the Elam Post Office on March 31st, 1854. John Lord's great-grandson, Alvah Ingoldshy Lord, became the postmaster of this post office on January 6th, 1855. He instantly renamed the post office Lordville, in honor of his great-grandfather, John Lord I; and thus the name stuck with the village. Lordville shares the Delaware River with Equinunk, Pennsylvania; where the Lords also have lots of history owning houses, hotels, boardinghouses, and stores.

Panorama of Lordville, NY

Bird's Eye view of Lordville, NY

Excerpt from the 1856 Map of Delaware County, NY by Jay Gould. The excerpt contains approximately the original land plot of ~200 acres given to John Lord I by the King of England for his service in the Seven Years War.

Kilgour Spur

Bouchouxville - French Woods



Stockport-on-the-Delaware & Buckingham Township

One of the five original townships when Wayne County was formed in 1798, Buckingham was much larger than today. Bounded on the north and east by New York State, on the south by Damascus Township, and on the west by Mount Pleasant, it contained thirty miles on the Delaware River. In 1821 Scott Township was formed from the northern portion and Manchester from the south. Another portion was taken to form part of Preston Township in 1828.

Originally, its hills and valleys were covered with timber, particularly magnificent hemlocks. Although the same hills and valleys are once again tree-covered, there came a time when they were stripped bare.

The first permanent settlement was at Stockport, where Samuel Preston came in 1790. Before Preston arrived, Josiah Parks, still renowned today as "Bosun" Parks, Daniel Skinner's rafting companion, owned the Stockport Flats. Not realizing their value, he sold his 190 acres for a pittance.

Some of the early settlers:

Little is known about the early religious life of the community. The first paid preacher was Rev. Levi Tucker, a Baptist minister at Deposit, NY, who was hired at Kingsbury Hill around 1828. In 1831, Rev. Charles Hubbard of Bethany organized the Buckingham Baptist church with twenty-eight members, the first organized church in the township.

The first schoolhouse was built near Stockport about 1808 and another near the mouth of Shehawken Creek. In 1828 a third school was built near the Woodmansees' and a fourth at Kingsbury Hill in 1832. Male teachers received about $11 a month and women from $1 to $2 a week.

The first sawmill was built by Samuel Preston at Stockport as early as 1792, soon followed by a gristmill. Axe factories were built in 1847 and 1866. Thomas Holmes built the first tannery on Shehawken Creek. In 1849 Ezra Brown and D. C. Scudder built a tannery at High Lake. The firm failed, and in 1866 the Jones & Wales tannery opened for business. At its peak, the tannery processed two thousand hides per year. In 1870, Holbert & Branning built a tannery about half a mile from Equinunk with a capacity of three thousand hides.

Three chemical works, or acid factories, converted wood into acetate of lime, wood naptha, charcoal and flourished until World War I.

The first post office was naturally at Stockport in 1820. Other post offices were at Autumn Leaves (Kingsbury Hill), Sunshine, and High Lake.

Today, Buckingham Township is once again covered with lush forests and a vacation destination for many visitors. Summer camps, like Camp Winona, Camp Tioga, and Camp Tabor flourish, and lakes, ponds, and the Delaware River are magnets for lovers of the outdoors and beautiful scenery.

The current population of Buckingham Township is 656, dwelling on 44.3 square miles, all classified rural.

Stockport Station, New York



Equinunk, the Safe Harbor

Manchester Township, The Union Farm

Manchester Township was created from a portion of Buckingham Township in 1826 and is separated from that township by Equinunk Creek. The first white man in the area of whom there is any record is Josiah Parks of New London, Connecticut. Born in 1745, he served on board an English man-of-war and was made boatswain. Consequently, he was known locally as “Bosun Parks” throughout his life. Parks distinguished himself as a scout in the Revolutionary War and afterward accompanied Daniel Skinner on his earliest rafting adventures. The first birth of a white child in the township was that of Josiah Parks’ daughter who was born in a cave along Equinunk Creek between 1776 and1782.

As early as 1793 a group of prominent men from Philadelphia formed an association called the Union Sugar Company. This association drew up a “Plan” to settle and improve the land, utilize the abundant supply of maple trees to make sugar and the potash extracted from other trees and otherwise improve the soil, clearing fields, plant orchards, raise stock and erect suitable buildings. The subscribers were to agree to purchase 3,120 acres. This tract was to be known as Union Farm. Among the more notable subscribers were Henry Drinker, Samuel Meredith and Robert Morris. Henry Drinker served as Treasurer.

Transporting the necessary supplies for this undertaking was made possible by the establishment of a road in 1792 from what is now Stroudsburg to the Narrows of the Lackawaxen and then to the Portage Road running from Stockport to Harmony that had been opened the previous year. Another supply route was the Delaware River. Phineas Goodrich in his book The History of Wayne County, 1880, says that the huge kettles used by the Union Sugar Company were bought up the Delaware River by Durham Boats.

Despite their initial success, by November of 1795 the managers announced to the stockholders that it would not be expedient to continue the business. The expenses had exceeded the capital and they recommended that the company be sold. In the spring of 1796 the personal property, except the large kettles, were sold and the farm rapidly deteriorated.

Among the earliest settlers in the township were James Lord, Jonathan Adams, Nathan Mitchell and John Kellam. John Kellam was soon followed by his brothers Jacob, Peter, Jeptha, George and William. The township was named Manchester because many of these settlers came from Manchester in England. This settlement was known as the “Union English Settlement”, later called “The Union”. The first of these English immigrants was Samuel R. Mogridge who arrived in Manchester Township in 1813. Alfred Mathews, in his History of Wayne Pike and Monroe Counties provides an amusing anecdote about Samuel Mogridge’s nephew, Mathias. In 1820, at the age of eighteen Mathias made an unexpected visit to the home of Samuel Mogridge. According to Mathews, “He was talking when he walked into his surprised uncle’s house and he kept right on talking, except when sleeping, until the universal silencer, Death, stopped him on the 17th of September, 1885.”

Both Samuel Preston and Nathan Mitchell built saw-mills as early as 1805 but the very first saw-mill was built by the Union Sugar Company in 1794. The first grist-mill was built by George Kellam at Bramans. Isaiah and Daniel C. Scudder built the first tannery under the company name of I. & D.C. Scudder in 1848. The tannery had a capacity of 2,500 sides a year and only manufactured soles for shoes and boots. The tannery was sold to William Holbert and burned in 1875. Another tannery was built at Little Equinunk in 1857 by S. D. Wood and Aaron and Calvin Van Benschoten, later owned by Hoyt Brothers of New York. It burned but was re-built and ran until 1881 when the supply of bark ran out. In the 1880s bee-keeping became one of the important industries of the township and several extensive apiaries were constructed.

The first post office was established at Priceville in 1837 with Mathias Mogridge as postmaster. It was closed in 1871. A second post office was established at Bramans in 1882 with Hamilton Braman as postmaster. The first school house was established in The Union about 1827 and soon after another was constructed near Little Equinunk. By 1886 there were ten schoolhouses in the township. The actual date for the first religious service is not known but by 1827 the Methodist Episcopal Church began sending itinerant ministers into the township. A society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed at The Union in 1840 and was part of the Hancock, NY charge. It became part of the charge at Equinunk and a church was erected there in 1854.

Preston Township

Preston Township was established on April 28, 1828 from portions of Mount Pleasant and Scott townships. It is the third largest township in size, Damascus being the largest, and noted for its number of lakes and ponds. The township was named after Judge Samuel Preston, the first settler in Buckingham Township and Wayne County’s first associate judge.

Among the earliest settlers in Preston Township were Peter and Ezra Spencer who came from Connecticut about 1812. Gideon Woodmansee, a Revolutionary War veteran, and his sons James and Thomas, natives of Massachusetts, settled on the Stockport Road about 1816. Connecticut native Rufus Geer arrived in Preston in the same year and settled along the Twin Lakes.

John and William, sons of John Starbird, Sr., a Revolutionary War veteran from Maine, came to Preston in 1817 and John built a saw mill on Shehawken Creek in 1824. David Wooley of New York City, accompanied by a number of others, settled in the part of the township that became Little York about 1817. Christopher Palmer Tallman, son of Elihu Tallman of Massachusetts, bought a large tract of land, cleared a farm and built a saw mill in 1824. This settlement became known as the village of Tallmansville.

It is not known exactly when John Stephens, an Englishman, settled in Preston Township but on the 1829 tax assessments he is listed as owning two hundred twenty-five acres of land. He was one of the first to keep a public house in the township. His license was granted in 1830 and he kept a tavern as long as he lived.

The first post office in Preston Township was established at Tallmansville in 1830 with Elihu Tallman as postmaster. By 1838 the Preston Post Office was established and Daniel Underwood served as postmaster. There were no schools between Mount Pleasant and S Hancock, New York in the early history of the township. As more settlements were established an attempt was made by residents to gather a sufficient number of children at one place to hold a school with teachers hired at private expense. Two of these teachers were Truman Wheeler and a Miss Mary Wheeler, who is presumed to be his sister.

In 1824 Miss Sarah Jane Stoddard was hired by Elihu Tallman to teach four, and sometimes five, children in an old log house on his property. Miss Stoddard’s school lasted for three months and the following year the same pupils were taught by Miss Sally Kennedy. Miss Miranda Chittenden and a Mr. Hines followed. Each of these teachers was paid seventy-five cents a week with board. They boarded at the homes of the parents of the students on a rotating basis so the board portion of the teacher’s salary was shared equally among the parents. According to an account by Christopher Palmer Tallman, a schoolhouse was constructed in 1829 or 1830 on his property. Some neighbors contributed labor and some contributed materials and a sixteen by twenty foot building was erected. The first teacher was a Miss Watrous, an old and experienced teacher, who was paid one dollar a week, the larger salary being due to her “earnestness, patience and faculty for imparting knowledge.”

The Tallmansville Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1831 with David Wooley as leader. Religious services were held in the homes of the members of the congregation until 1866 when the church was constructed. The organization of the Hine’s Corners Methodist Episcopal Church took place in 1849 with D. M. Benedict as leader followed by the establishment of the Stanton Hill Methodist Episcopal Congregation about 1855 with H. P. Stanton as the first leader and the Lake Como Methodist Episcopal in 1863. The Preston Centre Baptist Church was organized by members of the Baptist Church in Scott Township who lived a considerable distance from the Scott Township Church. This new church was dedicated on January 22, 1885.

The village of Lake Como began with the construction of a tannery by Leonard H. Allison, John Davidge, Horace H. Crary and Lucien Horton of Hancock, New York in 1859. They had purchased about eight hundred acres from Daniel Underwood for about $4,500. Mr. Allison had recently returned from a trip to Italy and, in remembrance of his visit to Lake Como, gave the name to this new village and nearby lake, formerly known as Six Mile Pond.

The abundance of lakes in the township provided the source for a thriving ice harvesting industry in the township with large commercial ice houses located throughout the area in the 19th century. Today these same lakes attract fishermen, tourists and summer residents to this scenic and historic part of northern Wayne County.

Damascus Township

Damascus Township is the fifth and largest of the original townships created with the establishment of Wayne County in 1798. It remains the largest despite the fact that the entire townships of Lebanon and Oregon and portions of Dyberry and Berlin Townships were excised from its territory. Damascus was the setting for many significant historic events in Wayne County history beginning with the first settlement at Cushetunk along the Delaware River. Joseph Skinner and his family of eight children were among the earliest of the Connecticut settlers who arrived about 1755 although unsubstantiated stories place Moses Thomas there as early as 1750. At the time ownership of this area of northeastern Pennsylvania was in dispute because King Charles II had granted a charter to Connecticut in 1662 and in 1681 he granted a charter to William Penn and the boundaries of each charter overlapped. In addition, these early inhabitants were also beset by attacks by Indians who also laid claim to the territory.

Joseph’s son Daniel purchased twenty-five acres of what was known as the Ackhake place from his father and helped to lay out a town. This town of Cushetunk was to consist of thirty dwellings, three large log-houses, one grist mill, one saw mill and one block-house by 1760. Around the time the property was sold to Daniel Joseph Skinner was murdered and his wife ultimately returned to Connecticut to live with relatives in 1759. Daniel Skinner moved to Newton in Sussex County, NJ and subsequently became a sailor making voyages to the West Indies. By 1763 he returned to his property along the Delaware in Wayne County and made his first experiment with rafting to transport logs down the river to Philadelphia to be used a ship’s masts thereby instituting the rafting and lumbering industry that was to become an important part of the county’s economy. Having successfully constructed the first raft to float down the Delaware River Daniel received the title of ‘Lord High Admiral’ of all the rafts men and Josiah Parks, who accompanied him on the second voyage, became known as boatswain or Bo’ sun Parks.

Daniel Skinner’s eldest son Reuben was a merchant, justice of the peace and kept the first tavern. He also organized the first Masonic lodge in the county and named it St. Tammany’s Lodge. Another of Daniel’s sons, Nathan, recorded the history of the Skinner family and the settlement at Cushetunk in the Nathan Skinner Manuscript.

In 1763 Robert Land, a justice of the peace under the colonial government, was sent to Cushetunk and settled at Milanville. After the start of the Revolutionary War, in accordance with the recommendations of the Continental Congress, a Committee of Safety had been formed and since Robert Land was in service to the king an order for his arrest as a Tory was issued. His home was burned and his property confiscated. He was sentenced to be incarcerated at Paupack but managed to hide within the English lines until the end of the Revolutionary War and escape to Canada. His son John remained in Wayne County, married Lily, the oldest daughter of Daniel Skinner and, in 1794, built what is now the oldest house in Wayne County.

Thomas Shields, a goldsmith from Philadelphia, began investing in land in northeastern Pennsylvania about 1785. Among the land he purchased was that known as old Damascus Manor which he purchased from John and Richard Penn in 1795. He settled in what is now the village of Damascus and became president of the Cochecton and Great Bend Turnpike, now Route 371. Following the construction of the eastern end of the road in 1800, Shields laid out village lots along the road and executed deeds for a school and a church making him the owner of the first religious meeting house in the county to be held in trust for a regular Baptist Church and society when organized.

Damascus Township’s sizable geographical footprint encompasses an equally impressive collection of the events and people of importance in Wayne County’s history. Many current residents of the county bear the names of those very early inhabitants and stand as living testimony to their memory.