Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
|Borough of Jim Thorpe|
|"The Switzerland of America"
"The Gateway to the Poconos"
|Elevation||1,519 ft (463 m)|
|Area||14.8 sq mi (38.3 km2)|
|- land||14.5 sq mi (38 km2)|
|- water||0.3 sq mi (1 km2), 2.03%|
|Density||332.1 / sq mi (128.2 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code||570 Exchange: 325|
Jim Thorpe (Lenape: Màxkwchunk ) is a borough in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, USA. The population was 4,804 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Carbon County. The town has been called the "Switzerland of America" due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture; as well as the "Gateway to the Poconos."
Jim Thorpe was founded as Mauch Chunk in 1818. Mauch Chunk / / was derived from the term "bear mountain" in the language of the native Lenape people, an apparent reference to a local mountain that resembled a sleeping bear. The town was founded by Josiah White, founder of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company. It rapidly became a railroad and coal-shipping center, and was home to the Mauch Chunk Switchback Gravity Railroad, generally acknowledged as the first roller coaster in the United States. Mauch Chunk was the location of one of the trials of the Molly Maguires in 1876, which resulted in the hanging of four men found guilty of murder. The population in 1900 was 4,020; in 1910, it was 3,952.
Following the 1953 death of renowned athlete and Olympic medal winner Jim Thorpe, Thorpe's widow and third wife, Patricia, were angry when the government of Oklahoma would not erect a memorial to honor him. When she heard that the boroughs of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were desperately seeking to attract business, she made a deal with civic officials. According to Jim Thorpe's son, Jack, Patricia was motivated by money in seeking the deal. The boroughs merged, renamed the new municipality in Jim Thorpe's honor, obtained the athlete's remains from his wife and erected a monument to the Oklahoma native, who began his sports career 100 miles (161 kilometres) southwest, as a student at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The monument site contains his tomb, two statues of him in athletic poses, and historical markers describing his life story. The grave rests on mounds of soil from Thorpe's native Oklahoma and from the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in which he won his Olympic medals.
On June 24, 2010, one of Jim Thorpe's sons, Jack Thorpe, sued the town for his father's remains under a Federal law designed to return Native American artifacts to their tribal homelands.
The history of the borough is inscribed in the architecture that makes up its many 19th century styles. Former resident and architectural historian Hans Egli noted the vast range of architectural styles: Federalist, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne, and Richardsonian Romanesque. Most of these architectural examples remained intact beneath aluminum or vinyl siding that has since been removed.
Robert Venturi, renowned Philadelphia architect, conducted a little-known planning study in the 1970s that attempted to understand the dynamics of historicism and tourism, notions that have come into their own in contemporary times. While Venturi's planning study was unique at the time, it has since become a critical factor in Jim Thorpe's rebound as a functioning and economically stable community. Jim Thorpe benefits from tourism initially spurred on by the celebration of its old architecture, which has developed new industries and modern creations. Two of these relative newcomers to the Jim Thorpe area are paintball and white water rafting.
The Carbon County Section of the Lehigh Canal, Old Mauch Chunk Historic District, Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, Asa Packer Mansion, Harry Packer Mansion, Carbon County Jail, Central Railroad of New Jersey Station, and St. Mark's Episcopal Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mauch Chunk Switchback Gravity Railroad 
In 1827, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, a coal mining and shipping company with operations in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, constructed an 8.7-mile (14.0 km) downhill track, known as a gravity railroad, to deliver coal (and a miner to operate the mine train's brake) to the Lehigh Canal in Mauch Chunk. This helped open up the area to commerce, and helped to fuel the Industrial Revolution in the United States. By the 1850s, the "Gravity Road" (as it became known) was providing rides to thrill seekers for 50 cents a ride (equal to $12.32 today). It is often cited as the first roller coaster in the United States. The Switchback Gravity Railroad Foundation was formed to study the feasibility of preserving and interpreting the remains of the Switchback Gravity Railroad on top of Mount Pisgah.
Jim Thorpe is located at .
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38 km2), of which, 14.5 square miles (38 km2) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of it (2.03%) is water. Located adjacent to the Lehigh River, Jim Thorpe is 3 miles north of Lehighton and 3 miles east of Nesquehoning. Jim Thorpe's elevation is at 1519 feet above sea level.
Jim Thorpe's elevation ranges from 500 feet at Broadway and Hazard Square *Downtown* to 1700 feet 3 miles northwest of town at the Penn Forest Township line
||Although signed as a north-south route, U.S. 209 tends to follow an east-west route in Pennsylvania. In Jim Thorpe and Lehighton, U.S. 209 runs in directions opposite its signage—i.e., northbound U.S. 209 runs southbound and vice versa.
||PA 903 has its southern terminus at U.S. 209 in Jim Thorpe. It is a north-south route that runs northeast of town.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,781 people, 2,290 households, and 1,468 families residing in the borough. The population density was 332.1 people per square mile (128.2/km²). There were 2,193 housing units at an average density of 151.6 per square mile (58.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.36% White, 0.62% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population. A plurality of Jim Thorpe's residents are of Irish descent, typified by the connection to the Molly Maguires and large amount of Irish pride seen throughout the town (e.g. flags).
There were 1,967 households of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18, 50.6% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.9 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $35,976, and the median income for a family was $43,710. Males had a median income of $31,141 versus $23,490 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $17,119. About 7.8% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.3% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.
In a poll conducted by Budget Travel magazine, Jim Thorpe was recently awarded a top 10 spot on America’s Coolest Small Towns, circa 2009. The town registered 3,920 votes to land the #7 spot on the list. In 2012, Jim Thorpe was voted the fourth most beautiful small town in America in the Rand McNally/USA Today Road Rally series. Jim Thorpe is becoming a tourist destination, with many businesses catering to white water rafting, mountain biking, paintball and hiking. Located near down town of Jim Thorpe, in the Glenn Onoko State Park there are popular hiking trails that many people from all over come to hike. Along with these sports, Jim Thorpe is popular among railroading fans and is known for its extraordinary architecture.
The town is home to the Asa Packer and Harry Packer Mansions. The former was the founder of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and Lehigh University; the latter was Asa's son. Both mansions sit next to one another on a hill overlooking downtown Jim Thorpe. The Asa Packer Mansion is a museum and has been conducting tours since Memorial Day of 1956. The Harry Packer Mansion is a bed and breakfast. The haunted mansion at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is modeled after the Harry Packer Mansion.
Jim Thorpe is home to the Anthracite Triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon open to 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.
- "Lenape Talking Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-05-27.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- The Molly Maguires; Approaching Trial of the Murderers of John P. Jones --- Strong Array of Counsel for the Defense New York Times, 27 March 1876. Retrieved 2008-12-26
- New International Encyclopedia
- Hagerty, James R. (July 21, 2010). "Is There Life After Jim Thorpe For Jim Thorpe, Pa.?". The Wall Street Journal. p. A14.
- "Frank Deford of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel interviews Jack Thorpe". HBO (official channel on YouTube). Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania – Jim Thorpe's Tourist Attraction Grave at Roadside America.
-  Thorpe's son seeks return of remains, Associated Press, June 24, 2010
- Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates, Brownlee, David B. and Kathryn B. Hiesinger, published 2001, page 76
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- The switchback Gravity Railroad
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- USGS. "Borough of Jim Thorpe". Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Anthracite Triathlon". Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2007-11-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania|
|Wikivoyage has travel information related to: Jim Thorpe|
- Borough of Jim Thorpe
- Tourist and Business Information
- Mauch Chunk Historical Society
- The Asa Packer Mansion Museum