The town of Jim Thorpe is located
in scenic central Pennsylvania. This lovely Victorian village,
formerly known as Old Mauch Chunck, dates back to the early
1800's and is renowned for being the birthplace of the Industrial
Revolution, the home of the world's first roller coaster, and--most
notably--the starting point for America's first railroad. During
the 1800's, Mauch Chunck prospered throughout the coal and railroad
boom. The town saw such prosperity that it was at this time home
to at least 13 millionaires.
However, early in the 20th Century, the coal boom tapered off
and like many similar small industrial towns, Mauch Chunck began
a steady downslide.
In 1953, an unusual offer came from an unusual woman. The widow
of the great Olympic athlete, Jim Thorpe, was looking for a town
that would provide her late husband with a suitable memorial and burial place.
The citizens of Mauch Chunk, East Mauch Chunk and Mauch Chunk
Heights came together and decided to not only offer Jim Thorpe's
widow the suitable memorial and burial place but also offered
to consolidate into one borough under the name Jim Thorpe.
The offer was accepted and an appropriate monument was erected to honor the Olympian.
This was an agreement that has helped all concerned. Jim Thorpe's
widow was satisfied that her husband's memory and resting place
was well taken care of, and the newly named Jim Thorpe, PA had
a new industry to help replace the long gone coal boom, tourism.
In addition to the Jim Thorpe memorial, the town has a lot to
offer for vacationers. Ranging from one hundred year-old buildings,
beautiful old Victorian architecture, historical sites, and charming bed and breakfasts, Jim Thorpe,
is a great vaction spot.