Mauch Chunk Museum Cultural Center – Jim Thorpe, PA, formerly Mauch Chunk, is a small picturesque Pennsylvania town with a fascinating history. Established in a wilderness on the banks of the Lehigh River in 1818, Mauch Chunk became a bustling coal transportation center, tourist Mecca, and the esteemed seat of Carbon County by the middle of the 19th century.
The Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center is designed around the town of Jim Thorpe’s industrial and cultural history. The Center is housed in a high-ceilinged former church, a magnificent example of Victorian ecclesiastical architecture. Learn more about this town that took its name from the greatest athlete in the world, and where the great Olympian is buried.
Riding the wave of prosperity along the river and canal and over land, the Switchback Gravity Railroad hauled its precious cargo full steam ahead from the town of Mauch Chunk, known as the “Switzerland of America” to 19th century rail excursionists. The town declined economically in the 20th century when petroleum replaced coal in home and industry and rail excursion tourism was replaced by the automobile.
In 1954, the economic revival took a strange course. Mauch Chunk traded its name for the body and name of 1912 Olympic hero Jim Thorpe. Although this bizarre exchange received nationwide attention, it did little to revitalize the town. Revitalization came to Jim Thorpe over several decades through the promotion of the town’s historical and architectural legacy, and the natural beauty of its surroundings. Read more here.
The Museum is available for weddings and receptions. Seats 160. All amenities are also available for groups. Read about the ballroom for your event here.