Day trips: (Part 2) Coal country – The one percent and others

So, after seeing the postindustrial sights of Scranton, we headed south to the small town of Jim Thorpe – originally called Mauch Chunk, or “sleeping bear” in Lenape, then renamed after a famous early twentieth century athlete.

Back in its days as Mauch Chunk, during the first Gilded Age of the late 1800s, Jim Thorpe was popular with coal barons and the like. We toured the Asa Packer mansion – like everything else in town, it’s at the top of a steep hill. You aren’t allowed to take photos inside, or else I could show you the amazing woodwork. (Dozens and dozens of carved flowers, each unique, on the door frames, for example.) The guide said the flowers were produced by a team of Italian carvers, imported just for this project and required to work seven days a week to finish in time for the Packers’ fiftieth anniversary party (after which, Mr. Packer promptly died…well, within the year).

We also toured the old jail, notorious as the place where a group of coal miners – convicted of being “Molly Maguires”, violent labor organizers – were hanged in 1876. At least one of the men went to his death insisting that he was innocent.

Today’s Jim Thorpe, though, seems happy to welcome anybody. You can kayak or enjoy other woodsy activities, go on a scenic train ride, or just wander around checking out quirky little stores and admiring the Victorian architecture. But the day we were there, it rained every hour or so!

Our hotel featured a balcony and an indoor area for relaxing – off to the right of this picture were shelves stocked with various board games.

The town is full of odd little shops and restaurants –

– not to mention private homes with unusual paint jobs.

Quaint, relaxing, and fun to visit!

Advertisements

6 responses to “Day trips: (Part 2) Coal country – The one percent and others

  1. sounds like fun too πŸ™‚

  2. We’ve driven past Jim Thorpe many times – nice to know what a charming little place it is! Your travelogue voice is really refreshing to read, Sharon: very light and personable, but also informative. πŸ˜€

    I’m curious about your hotel, though – is it a typical “hotel” or a bed-and-breakfast-type? It seems so cosy. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! It took several drafts to get this post in presentable enough shape to publish – it’s good to know the effort was worthwhile!

      As for the hotel – it was very cosy, but definitely a standard hotel (in spite of that second-floor game nook in the photo).

  3. Appears to be a nice place to get some needed relaxation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s