Originally founded as Mauch Chunk, the town of East Mauch Chunk and Mauch Chunk on either side of Lehigh River was combined and renamed to Jim Thorpe in 1953 after the most decorated Olympic athlete at the time.
Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, this Victorian town has been called the “Switzerland of America” due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture.
Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
As we drove into town on this beautiful October day, the train station first came into our sight. With the first train of the day leaving in 15 minutes, we decided to ride the 8.5 mile railway.
It’s quite chilly today, but it didn’t stop people from riding the open coach (which by the way is 5$ more per seat than the regular coach). The narrated 45-minute round-trip follows the majestic Lehigh River over bridges, through Glen Onoko, and into the Lehigh Gorge State Park. High-rising cliffs, mountain scenery, and wildlife surround the train along the forested route to Old Penn Haven.
Carbon County Courthouse
The most iconic building of Jim Thorpe.
St. Mark’s and St. John’s Episcopal Church
Completed in 1869, it is a prominent example of Gothic Revival architecture designed by that style’s leading proponent, Richard Upjohn.
One of my favorite picture of the day. The church viewed from Asa Packer Mansion. The green and yellowish color of the trees in the backdrop highlighted the beauty of the church itself.
The tour is not operated on a weekday, so, no interior pictures. That’s a shame, as I read there are some beautiful Tiffany stained glasses.
Lunch at Broadway Grill and Pub
Waitress was nice enough to open up the balcony for us to dine in. Surrounded by blooming flower boxes, showered by the warm autumn sun, lunch was totally a delight.
Asa Packer became very rich from Lehigh Railroad. He was also the founder of Lehigh University.
Asa Packer built Harry Packer Mansion as a gift for his son. It is now a B&B.
Race Street Stone Row
Asa Packer built 16 row houses for engineers and foreman of Lehigh Valley Railroad. The three-story row houses were individualized by variations in dormer, bay window, and door and window trim. At one point, 13 millionaires lived here, so it’s also called Millionaire Row.
Quintessential Shops and Buildings
House of Jerky
Very cool store, many different types of Jerky made from exotic meat. The display is appetizing.
Used Book Store
The most interesting book in the shop is this Tilt: A Skewed History of the Tower of Pisa. With the odd shape of the book, resembling Tower of Pisa, I think it would be pretty difficult to hold and read.
Hotel Switzerland & Molly Maguire’s Pub
Soliders and Sailors Monument
Jim Thorpe is celebrating the colors of the fall at the Fall Foliage Festival. Houses, stores and streets are beautifully decorated.
Halloween is Coming…
This one was actually a real person, he startled several pedestrians before I walked up. He did “growl” at me, but I was prepared, LOL. After we strolled along the streets and back to here, he attracted a huge crowd and even a line to have a picture with him. He charges 1$ for a picture.
The Fall Foliage color was quite disappointing this year. So I got very excited to finally see a red leaf on the tree and took this picture only to realize it was a falling leaf that got stuck on the branch!