Jim Thorpe Journals

Antiques, Architecture, and Anthracite

A September 2002 trip to Jim Thorpe by Truly Malin

Broadway House Photo, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania More Photos
Quote: Like me, perhaps you prefer to take "the back roads." But how often does a back road lead you hundreds of miles and across three state lines? This spontaneous journey on what was once an ancient Indian footpath led us to a weekender’s paradise: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

Reader, Meet Jim Thorpe (start here)

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Attraction | "Reader, Meet Jim Thorpe"

Detail of the Inn at Jim Thorpe entrance Photo, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Waiting on line one day in the Sullivan County government headquarters to renew my driver’s license, my eye wandered toward a framed map on a wall. The yellowed, pre-1900 map was of Sullivan County, NY. Examining it, I was delighted to see that my house is situated on a road that was prominently marked a hundred years ago on the hand-drawn map.Follow that same road down a hill and in a few minutes you will be on unassuming, one-lane Route 209. On the aging map, it might as well be a mega-highway cutting a straight diagonal from the Hudson River to the bottom left corner of New York State. It meanders slightly while maneuvering through the town of Port Jervis, nestled in the corner of three states (...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2003

My kind of Victorian Town

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Story/Tip

Broadway House Photo, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Jim Thorpe was founded in 1816 as Mauch Chunk ("little sleeping bear" in the Lenape language) and flourished throughout the 19th century as a center for coal mining, canal trade, and railroads. 13 of the world’s 20 millionaires had homes in Mauch Chunk. In the late 1800s it gained prominence as a summer resort, nicknamed "The Switzerland of America."The town was hit hard by the simultaneous decline of its three major industries, as each was made obsolete by new technologies. The Great Depression put the final coffin nail into many declining towns in Carbon County - but Jim Thorpe also had a long history of attracting tourists, and this fourth industry kept the town alive.In 1954 Mauc...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2003

Broad Mountain Bike Tour

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Attraction | "Death by Broad Mountain Bike Tour"

Broad Mountain Bike Tour Photo, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Jim Thorpe boasts antiquing, fine dining, and historic sites, but the main attraction is the great outdoors and the Lehigh Valley Gorge, where whitewater rafters coexist happily with cyclists, all enjoying the panoramic views. Bike shops in town like Blue Mountain Sports will sell you Jim Matsinko’s guide to local off-road trails, located on the many multiple-use land parcels surrounding the town.We selected the 15.5 mile Broad Mountain Loop for an afternoon ride. The trail, listed as intermediate in our guidebook, kicked our butts. We must be getting old. The trail was wid...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2003

Broad Mountain Bike Tour
Route 209, 7 miles North of Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Cheery little Coal Train Photo, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Quote:
Jim Thorpe’s story began 250 million years ago when Carbon County was a densely covered swampy plain. During this period the materials were put in place that, over time, became anthracite – a geological event that would shape the future of the region.Anthracite, the fossilized remains of vegetative matter, is a hard coal that was once treasured because it burns almost smokeless. If you know anyone who still has a coal chute in their cellar, their home was probably heated with anthracite at one point. Anthracite was discovered in the Lehigh Valley in 1792. Because anthracite is very labor intensive to mine as compared to other coals, it has gradually fallen from favor. The last anthracite mine in ...Read More