Mauch Chunk Museum Cultural Center


The museum’s core exhibition is “The Story of Mauch Chunk.” Knowledgeable guides discuss museum artifacts and lead visitors on a tour through the ages, beginning with the unique geological formation of coal in prehistoric times and through the events that created the present day town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The lush, mountainous landscape inhabited by the Lenape Indians was forever changed by the discovery and mining of “black diamonds” (anthracite coal) by early European settlers and their subsequent scramble to build waterways and railroads to transport coal to the eastern seaboard cities. Determination and ingenuity gave rise to industrial marvels such as the unique Switchback Gravity Railroad while the settlement of Mauch Chunk grew and flourished in its Victorian golden age. Following a period of decline, the town of Mauch Chunk was renamed and revived as the town of Jim Thorpe—repository for the body of the great Native American Olympian. Struggle, prosperity, decline and revival; we invite visitors to experience the legacy, architecture, and natural beauty that is today’s Jim Thorpe.


Meet our Board of Directors



Upcoming events at the Mauch Chunk Museum & Cultural Center:

The Victorian Gothic Steampunk Ball 2018
Join us Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 6pm to 11pm for an elegant evening of dinner, modern dancing, entertainment, and a playful Gothic and Steampunk interpretation of the Victorian Era. Team Steam or Team Gothic? Who would you be in the Victorian age? Are you a thoroughly modern Steampunk explorer, reading Jules Verne and traveling the world in fantastical steam-powered machines? Perhaps you’re a lover of dark Gothic romance, lost in the imagery of Poe, Byron, and Shelley with their crumbling ancient castles, supernatural beings, and symbolic ravens? Team Steam or Team Gothic…or maybe someone completely original. The choice is up to you!

The Victorian Gothic Steampunk Ball features a full course buffet dinner, a drink ticket, plus a cash ballroom bar, a photo stage with Steampunk and Gothic backdrops and props, and a night of modern dancing with a DJ taking your requests. We will also have a Thriller Dance Off Contest, so come prepared to break out your best moves. All proceeds benefit the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center. Cost for the event is $65 per person.

The Mauch Chunk Ballroom offers a sophisticated backdrop for a classy, whimsical evening. While we invite guests to dress in Steampunk or Victorian Gothic style, all are welcome and no costumes are required! We do however ask that guests dress as they would for an elegant event.

Reserve your seat today! Click here to sign up for an unforgettable evening.





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.

Riding the wave of prosperity along river, canal, Switchback Gravity Railroad and overland RR as “Black Diamonds” (anthracite coal) were transported by increasingly efficient means, famous 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 promotion of the town’s historical and architectural legacy, and the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Visit our history section for additional information.


Become a Member of the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center!

Benefits Include:

  • Invitations to openings
  • Reduced admissions to exhibits, programs, seminars, and video presentations
  • 10% discounts on all items in the museum shop
  • Semi-Annual Newsletter

Membership Cost:

  • Senior Citizen/Student $15.00
  • Individual $20.00
  • Family $40.00
  • Sponsor $50.00
  • Charter Member $100.00

Purchase your membership below via secure PayPal Checkout


Additional payment methods currently accepted are check, money order, or credit card. Payments can be mailed to: The Mauch Chunk Museum, 41 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229. Or, call (570) 325-9190.


Hours of Operation

CLOSED January, February, March (Open by appointment 570-325-9190)
OPEN Weekends April and May 11am to 5pm
OPEN Weekdays by appoint for 4+ guests with 24 hours notice (570-325-9190)
OPEN DAILY June, July, August, September, October from 11am to 5pm
OPEN Weekends November and December 11am to 5pm

Groups by appointment call 570-325-9190