The theme of the museum’s core exhibition is “The Story of Mauch Chunk”, which leads the visitors through the ages from the geological formation of coal in prehistoric times to the present. It focuses on such topics as the Lenape Indians, the discovery and mining of “black diamonds” (anthracite coal), the settlement of Mauch Chunk, the scramble to build waterways and railroads to transport coal to eastern seaboard cities, the unique Switchback Gravity Railroad, Mauch Chunk in its industrial golden age, its decline and revival as the town of Mauch Chunk becomes today’s Jim Thorpe—repository for the body of the great native American Olympian. The theme is struggle, prosperity, decline and revival; the legacy, the architectural and natural beauty that is today’s Jim Thorpe.
Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center
A few pages of interest on our local history
- Geological history
- Discovery of anthracite coal in the upper Lehigh region
- Early settlement
- Wealth and Prosperity
- Economic Decline
- Switchback Gravity Railroad
- Renaming of the Town
- Jim Thorpe
- Revival and Renewal
Visit Carbon County History & Genealogy for much more information.
Upcoming events at the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center