Jim Thorpe, a borough of Olympic history


JIM THORPE, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — In this historic borough, you can take a bike ride, shop ’til you drop or discover its unique history. Welcome to Jim Thorpe — a historic town nestled in the Lehigh River Gorge.

Originally known as Mauch Chunk, Jim Thorpe is a destination rich with history and charm.

The borough was renamed Jim Thorpe, in 1954, in honor of Olympic medal winner James Francis Thorpe.

You can start your day at the Jim Thorpe Memorial by learning more about the Olympian’s life story. But the borough’s history doesn’t stop there.

Northampton resident Bonnie Dodge says, “There’s so much American history right here on this one street, and they can get a really good idea of some of what happened in this area with the coal industry and the railroads and things like that”

Don’t miss walking around the downtown streets to check out the Victorian structures.

Macungie resident Yvonne Wong comments, “Just the atmosphere here is so charming, it’s really so charming. The old houses and they’re well kept.”

With more than 30 unique shops, a day spent strolling the sidewalks of Jim Thorpe is sure to involve at least a few shopping bags.

Stroudsburg resident Keith Brooks says, “It’s Jim Thorpe! They’ve got all these cool little shops and the best ice cream in the world.”

James Dougher, President of Jim Thorpe Tourist Agency tells us, “Many of the merchants are open, there’s still a few merchants that are closed unfortunately at this point in time but everyone is taking precautions and everyone is taking things at their own pace.”

Wong also says, “I like going in and out of the little home owned shops. You know they’re all unique”

And there’s more! Known for many of its outdoor fun activities, in Jim Thorpe, you can find almost anything to do outdoors.

Brianna Derr, from Lebanon, says, “We’re basically just here to hike and have fun.”

“We have a number of parks in the area that are open to visitors, we have a number of places where people will go hiking and biking,” says Dougher.

Jim Thorpe is also filled with family fun.

Scott Killian, from Lebanon, says, “It’s worth coming out especially since there’s not much to do nowadays with the virus so it’s nice to get out of the house.”

Be sure to check out Mauch Chunk Lake Park, where you can hit the beach or rent a boat and fish.

“Here at Pocono Biking, we are happy to welcome people and show people around and give them an opportunity to rent a bike locally and to tool around town,” says Dougher

Or take a ride on the D & L trail and have a picnic.

“It’s a great place to come, you can be outdoors, you can be socially distanced as we all still should be and you don’t have to wear a mask because you’re not near other people,” says Jay Joseph, a Catawissa resident.

And Don’t forget the food and entertainment! There is plenty of dining options for everyone’s taste buds. And the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House hosts live music performances every weekend.

Come see for yourself all that Jim Thorpe has to offer.

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