St. Marks Episcopal Church, 21 Race Street – A National Historic Landmark of local, state and national historic significance, the circa 1869 edifice is a perfect example of Gothic Revival architecture designed by Richard Upjohn with an addition by Addison Hutton. Its reredos (carved stone screen behind the altar) is a replica of one in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, for which the church received permission from Queen Victoria herself.
Old Jail – 128 W. Broadway
Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center – 41 W. Broadway
No. 9 Mine – 9 Dock Street, Lansford PA
[Mauch Chunk, now Jim Thorpe, was] founded in 1818 by Josiah White and Erskine Hazard with a lease and later purchase of coal lands with a grant of authority from the legislature of Pennsylvania, establishing the town, which is nestled in the beautiful Lehigh Gorge, surrounded by Mt. Pisgah, Bear and Flagstaff mountains, along the wilds of the Lehigh River. The founders turned their attention to improving the navigation of the Lehigh River by means of a system of bear trap locks, shaping the course of the American industrial revolution in Pennsylvania, as it contributed to innovation in transportation, manufacturing, and use of natural resources.
In 1827 the switchback railway was built on an old wagon road to carry the coal from Summit Hill to the Lehigh River and eventually carried tourists on what is said to have been the first roller coaster.
In 1843, Carbon County was established from parts of Northampton and Monroe counties and Mauch Chunk was named the County Seat.
In 1846 Mauch Chunk was incorporated as a borough, and the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuykill and Susquehanna Railroad (later named Lehigh Valley Railroad) was authorized by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to run from Mauch Chunk to Easton, Pennsylvania. As the reach of the Lehigh Valley Railroad grew during the golden age of the industrial revolution, it carried not only coal but travelers to Mauch Chunk from Philadelphia and New York to the town, whose beauty drew them, second only to Niagara Falls as a tourist destination.
Mauch Chunk was home to millionaire philanthropist Asa Packer, builder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, a member of the State House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives, and founder of Lehigh University. Packer was also instrumental in the development of architectural landscape of Mauch Chunk, the mansions on Packer Hill, Stone Row on Historic Race Street and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
Mauch Chunk was central to the mine workers labor movement as the location of one of the trials of members of the Molly Maguires, an Irish immigrant labor organization, and subsequent hangings at the Carbon County Jail in 1877.
As industry grew, declined and evolved, so did Mauch Chunk, once a supply center and shipping point for many large collieries and railroad shops. Other industries included silk mills, tanneries, and dress and purse factories.
In 1954, Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk voted to merge and rename itself Jim Thorpe, after the legendary Olympic athlete, now laid to rest there.
In 1977, the Old Mauch Chunk Historic District, comprised of Broadway and Race streets was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four years later in 1981, the borough was the first to take advantage of the State’s Main Street downtown revitalization program, which helped to restore historically significant Victorian-era buildings on Broadway.
Today the beauty of the past, both natural and architectural, continue to sustain the town with a strong and growing tourism industry. Jim Thorpe, Pa is consistently ranked on national media “Best” lists, and recognized among the most fun, most beautiful, most romantic and best adventure towns to visit.
Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, Jim Thorpe, is teeming with history, romance and family fun. Visitors enjoy the walkable downtown’s accommodations, shops, restaurants, pubs, wine-tasting, museums, train rides, live entertainment, as well as all the outdoor adventure you’d expect in the Pocono Mountains.
The Jim Thorpe Tourism Agency in cooperation with the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center celebrated the history of the town and its people with a year of reunions, special events, tours and exhibits, Bicentennial Ball, Old Home Week celebrated from June 30 to July 7, 2018 with the American Legion Post #304 Stay at Home picnic and fireworks, and oral history and genealogical projects.