Timeline at a Glance

Mauch Chunk Time Line of Historic Events

1791 Phillip Ginder discovers an outcrop of anthracite coal at Summit Hill

1818 Mauch Chunk is founded by Josiah White and partner Erskine Hazard who install “bear trap locks” on the Lehigh River for coal barges to travel from Mauch Chunk to Easton.

1824 Mansion House hotel begun on Susquehanna Street – proclaimed the largest hotel in America; Mauch Chunk consists of nineteen log buildings.

1827 Switchback Gravity Railroad opens to carry coal from Summit Hill to Mauch Chunk

1833 Broadway House and the White Swan hotels open

1836 Lehigh Canal opens

1843 Carbon County chartered

1848 Asa Packer builds Stone Row’s sixteen houses

1849 Fire sweeps lower Broadway; thirty buildings destroyed

1850 Mauch Chunk incorporated

1854 East Mauch Chunk incorporate

1856 Lehigh Valley Railroad reaches Mauch Chunk from Easton

1860 Asa Packer builds mansion

1861-65 Civil War sends hundreds of Mauch Chunk’s men into combat

1862 Disastrous flood smashes through town, destroying upper canal.

1868 Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad extends from Mauch Chunk to Easton

1869 St. Marks Church – National Historic Landmark; Lehigh and Susquehanna Railroad reaches Mauch Chunk

1871 Carbon County Prison opens on upper Broadway

1872 Switchback Gravity Railroad excursions begin

1876 Molly Maguire trials in Mauch Chunk; President Ulysses Grant visits General Charles Albright

1877 Four Molly Maguire prisoners hung at the Carbon County Prison

1878-79 Three more Molly Maguire prisons hung in Mauch Chunk

1882 Mauch Chunk Opera House opens

1884 Lehigh Coal and Navigation Building

1887 Jersey Central train station built

1889 Dimmick Memorial Library opens, endowed by Milton Dimmick

1893 Present court house built, replacing two earlier structures; YMCA built, possibly re-cycling the four columns from court house #2.

1901 First trolleys carry tourists to the summit of Flagstaff Mountain

1902 Trolley Service extended from Mauch Chunk to Lehighton

1908 Flagstaff Park opens

1911 The Wahnetah Hotel, a resort in Glen Onoko destroyed by a forest fire.

1912 Death of Mary Packer Cummings

1925 Last trolley service run up Broadway

1932 Last shipment of coal sent down the Lehigh Canal

1933 Switchback dismantled

1951 Nickel a week fund drive to revive Mauch Chunk

1953 Inter-borough bridge built

1954 Mauch Chunk becomes Jim Thorpe; the Olympic athlete’s remains are moved from Oklahoma to Jim Thorpe

1956 Asa Packer mansion re-opens

1962 Jim Thorpe Tourist Bureau opens

1965 Central Railroad of New Jersey ends passenger service

1968 Carbon County Tourist promotion begins; Molly Maguires film produced, staring Sean Connery, filmed on location

1972 Mauch Chunk Lake dam completed, town floods stop

1973 Mauch Chunk Historical Society founded; Opera House saved from demolition

1974 Mauch Chunk Lake Park opens and Lehigh River raftingstarts

1977 National Register of Historic Places nominations of Jim Thorpe Historic District; over 300 properties registered.

1979 “Historic Jim Thorpe” planning begins; fire guts the Dimmick Memorial Library.

1980 Lehigh Gorge State Park established

1981 Main Street Project

1982 Civic/Commerce Association formed

1983 Memorial Hall built in East Jim Thorpe

1986 National Landmarks established

1988 Delaware and Lehigh Corridor chartered

1993 Chamber of Commerce founded; Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center opens in the former St. Paul’s Methodist Church

1995 The 1871 County jail closes and reopens as the Old Jail Museum

1996 First St. Patrick’s Day parade in Jim Thorpe

2003 Jtams Productions starts at Mauch Chunk Opera House

2006 Railway excursions return to Jim Thorpe

2009 Internationally known Wailin Jennys release Live from the Mauch Chunk Opera House.

2010 Jim Thorpe gets a direct connection to the upper portion of the Delaware & Lehigh Corridore Trail with the dedication of the new trail head near the Train Station. After a long delay, hikers and bikers can now access the Lehigh Gorge without traversing borough streets

2014 Work begins in January on the new Interborough Bridge, which should replace the old bridge by 2017
















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Page updated May 2014 by Jack Sterling