Jim Thorpe, PA Guide
Jim Thorpe is a tourist destination, with White Water Rafting, Mountain Biking, Paintball, and Hiking.
The town is, also, popular among railroading fans, and is known for its extraordinary architecture.
It is home to the Asa and Harry Packer Mansions. Asa, was president of the Lehigh Coal Company, and founder of Lehigh University. Harry was his son. Both mansions have been restored to their Victorian Style glory and tours run regularly. The former was the founder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University; the latter was the son of Asa. Both mansions sit next to one another on a hill overlooking downtown Jim Thorpe. The Asa Packer Mansion is currently a museum and has been conducting tours since Memorial Day of 1956. The Harry Packer Mansion is now a bed and breakfast
The boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk merged and took on the name of Jim Thorpe following the 1953 death of Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe in hopes to attract tourism and other attention to help its economy. The town has also been referred to as the "Switzerland of America", as can be seen in an old drawing of the town showcased in a restaurant therein. This may also be the cause of the building next to the Sunrise Diner having "Hotel Switzerland" painted onto its front. The town was so nicknamed due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture. The town was founded by Lehigh Coal Company, and was home to the Mauch Chunk Switchback Gravity Railroad.
Jim Thorpe is also home to the Anthracite Triathlon. The Anthracite Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon open to both amateur and professional triathletes. The swim portion occurs in Mauch Chunk Lake. The bike course takes riders through the mining towns of Summit Hill, Nesquehoning, Lansford, and Jim Thorpe. The running portion of the course is generally along the former alignment of a historic switchback railroad.
Jim Thorpe is
also the home of the famous "Mollie McGuires" The "Molly
Maguires" were miners in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania
who organized into a union during the 1860's and 1870's. These miners
were chiefly, although not exclusively, Irish and the union was called
the Workingmen's Benevolent Association. In general, the members of
this union were also members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a
semi-secret fraternal society, which had its origin in Ireland as
a completely secret and anonymous association.