The Asa Packer Mansion, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

The Home of Asa Packer in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

The town of Jim Thorpe in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania is a town named after a famous U.S. Olympian. Originally founded as Mauch Chunk, it was named after the athlete in 1954. The town sits in a valley of the Lehigh River with the mountains rising above it. It is in the center of the coal mining region, and it was where a revolt against the mine owners lead by a group known as the ‘Molly Maguires’ took place and where their execution also happened. (The site of their execution, the Mauch Chunk Jail, is now a museum.) The town also became the home of Asa Packer. Who is Asa Packer? He was a politician, and he was also the founder of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Saint Luke’s Hospital. He also owned a boat company where he used…

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