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:


April 28, 2019: Save the date for our “Garden Party Tea” on Sunday, April 28, 2019 from 1pm to 4pm in the beautiful Mauch Chunk Ballroom. Featuring a gourmet tea selection, sandwiches and treats, guests will enjoy live entertainment after tea-time. More details and ticket information coming soon!



June 15, 2019: Save the date for our 2019 Victorian Ball on Saturday evening, June 15th in the grand Mauch Chunk Ballroom. Enjoy an elegant dinner and traditional Victorian dancing with caller Sue Dupre and talented musicians playing popular dance music of the 19th century. (New to Victorian dancing? Not to worry, as Sue will expertly provide dance instructions.)  This year’s theme will be “Masquerade,” or as the Victorians liked to call it, “fancy dress.”  More details and ticket information coming soon.






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.

Board member and Historian Jack Sterling has compiled a significant amount of local historical research in his Carbon County History and Genealogy website, accessible here:

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

January, February, March: CLOSED (except by appointment for 4+ guests with 24 hours notice 570-325-9190)
April and May: OPEN Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm (Open weekdays by appointment for 4+ guests with 24 hours notice 570-325-9190)
June, July, August, September, October: OPEN Friday through Tuesday from 11am to 5pm (Closed Wednesday and Thursday)
November and December 11am to 5pm: OPEN Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11am to 5pm

Groups are welcome! Call 570-325-9190 to inquire.

Entrance Fee: $7.50 ages 12 and up. Children under 12 are free.