Gargoyles and gothic graves in Jim Thorpe

Gargoyles on the Chapel of the Resurrection look over the graves of Mauch Chunk's movers and shakers.

While the gruesome faces of gargoyles are among the things that occupy our imaginations and scare us around Halloween, they can be found in Jim Thorpe year round at the Upper Mauch Chunk Cemetery.

There, fixed on the east side of the Memorial Chapel of the Resurrection, they watch over the graves of and monuments to the movers and shakers of Mauch Chunk including Asa Packer. The chapel itself was financed by Packer’s daughter, Mary Packer Cummings, who dedicated it to her sister Marion Packer Skeer.

Before the pulpit, a black wrought iron fence surrounds an Otis elevator, on which coffins descend to the crypt below and the entombed are held there for the winter, as the ground is too frozen to accept their remains.

The cemetery itself is a beautiful Victorian statuary with ornate monuments accenting the landscape of simpler stones.

 The Rex family, who once operated a coffee warehouse in our Times House building,  had giant granite balls adorning the top of their monuments. A peculiar and somewhat spooky story concerns one ball that got away from its mount at the cemetery and rolled all the way down from the Heights, across Broadway to Race Street, where it hit the spring at the top of the street before rolling to a stop a few doors away from us at what was once the Rex family home, now Three Mountains Gallery at 29 Race Street.

Jim Thorpe artist David Price, who lives and works at Three Mountains, is working on a series of prints and a narrative  inspired by that true story and a dream he had. Price is scheduled to play the Tibetan Bells at a poetry reading this weekend at Strange Brew but I guess we’ll see for whom the snow tolls. Huhuhuhuha – supposed to be a deep evil laugh.

Happy Halloween from the Times House Bed and Breakfast!

Great weather and great fun in Jim Thorpe

Today’s sunny skies and brisk weather can make you step a little quicker and make you want to celebrate all the good things life has to offer.

What better place to do that than Jim Thorpe this weekend.

Take a hayride along the historic Switchback Trail on Saturday when Mauch Chunk Lake Park plays host to the 5th Annual Bluegrass and Anthracite Heritage Festival.

From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. goers can enjoy great music, exhibits, coal mining memorabilia, environmental programs, food vendors, crafters, not to mention the beauty of the Mauch Chunk Lake. Admission is $5 for adults; kids 12 and under are free.

Enjoy the sounds of Simon and Garfunkle on Saturday night when AJ Swearingen and Mark Beedle perform their fabulous tribute to the duo at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. Always a great show!!

Come hike, bike, segway or shop in Jim Thorpe and with several great options for foodies and free wine tasting at Big Creek Winery next door to the Times House B&B on Race Street, life is good.

A proud history

The Times News Building at 23/25 Race Street put out the welcome banner during the 1947 celebration of Old Home Week in the Mauch Chunks.

The circa 1870 Times House Bed and Breakfast has a proud history, which we have been able to learn more about thanks to Anne Genshart, daughter of Gertrude Apfelbaum and granddaughter of Times News founder James J. Boyle.

Anne shared photos and old newspaper clips with us on a recent visit.  The photo above shows Anne (far right) and other children playing outside the old Times News building at 23/25 Race Street during the 1947 celebration of Old Home Week in the Mauch Chunks, which was celebrated from July 27 through August 2, 1947.

This post is one of several that will document the history of the newspaper, the building and the Boyle Family. Here is a photo of Gertrude herself at work and a link to her May 26, 1972 column in the Times News  that talks about the sale of the building.

Strictly Personal by Gertrude Apfelbaum

Price’s Pages highlight of exhibit

Jim Thorpe artist David Price exhibits two new works at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation as part of the Selected Pennsylvania Masters Exhibition.

While Jim Thorpe artist David Price may be known for the intricate details that brilliantly capture the essence of each of his works, the Three Mountain Gallery owner is also a wonderful poet.

Price brings both of these talents, as well as his training in book arts, to bear in Pages, now on display in the Selected Pennsylvania Masters Exhibit at the Anita Shapolsky Art Foundation, 20 West Broadway in Jim Thorpe. The exhibit will be on display through Tuesday, August 9.

Inspired by a dream and an other-wordly but true happening in the town, Pages 1 and Pages 2, are indeed pages of a narrative Price has been working on for more than a year.

Taped during the July 17 opening reception, Price reads one of the poems incorporated into his Pages series.

Coming home

Times II Suite
Gertrude Apfelbaum's daughter, Anne Genshart , and granddaughter, Liz, visited the Times House. Here we are in our Times II Suite, Anne's living room, when she lived there as a child. (From left: Diane, Anne and Liz.)

From the very beginning, I felt a special affinity for the old Times-News building on Race Street.

Though we toyed with sexier names, when it came time to select a name for our B&B , I knew it had to pay tribute to the Times-News, its role in the history of Mauch Chunk and Jim Thorpe and the people who made that history. Hence, the Times House was born.

Chris and I were delighted when we heard from Anne Genshart, who grew up in our building during the paper’s heyday. Her mom was Gertrude Apfelbaum, coeditor of the paper along with her brother, Joe Boyle.

Anne’s grandfather Jim Boyle published the Mauch Chunk Daily Times and after purchasing another Mauch Chunk paper, the Daily News in 1927, he merged the two and the Mauch Chunk Times-News was born.

Anne and her daughter, Liz, visited us on Friday, July 1, on what would have been Anne’s mother’s birthday. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon together, touring the building with new eyes to the past and poured over old photos and newspaper clippings, which Anne was kind enough to share with us.

Future blog posts will feature some of the photos and clippings. For now, I’ll post a few pictures from their visit – the first of many I hope, as well as the beginning of a friendship.

Liz and Anne check out an old article pasted to the wall in the Times House basement, where in 1927 the presses first rolled out the Times-News. This article features pictures of Times-News founder Jim Boyle, Gertrude Apfelbaum, Joe Boyle and the Times House building.