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CARBON COUNTY
Pennsylvania

Population and Growth. In 2000, the county had a population of 58,802.  The county population centers with at least 5,000 residents in 2000 are Lehighton (5,537), Penn Forest Township (5,439), and Palmerton (5,248).
 
--- Source:  U.S. Census Bureau

Historical Highlights.   Carbon County was created on March 13, 1843.  The County rose to the status of America's richest county in the early to middle 1800's because of the anthracite coal and railroad booms in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 
 

The years following the American Great Depression, in sharp contrast, saw a decline in this mainstay of Carbon County's (and much of the region's) economic support as the economy attempted to recover from the Depression and new fuels gained in widespread popularity.  Two towns, then known as Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk (a Native American dialect for "bear mountain"), were struggling in how to deal with their economic crisis.

It was during this time that famed athlete Jim Thorpe passed away in a Philadelphia hospital.  Penniless, Thorpe's wife Patricia sought help in burying her husband in his home State of Oklahoma, but was denied this tribute despite his amazing athletic accomplishments during his lifetime.  Word reach Patricia Thorpe of the struggle that was going on in the two Mauch Chunk towns.  She was particularly impressed by one story she was told that, despite their economic hardships, each citizen was contributing a nickel a week to an economic revitalization fund.

Inspired by this tale of strong spirit in the face of adversity, she visited the towns and asked for help.  Seeing this as a chance to further strengthen a sense of community pride, local citizens and officials united their governments and renamed the newly formed town to Jim Thorpe, PA.  Despite the fact that Jim Thorpe had never actually visited the towns of Mauch Chunk, the citizens built an elegant yet tasteful mausoleum in his honor, where the athlete rests to this day.  

Carefully guarding the privacy of Jim Thorpe so as not to exploit his name, Carbon County has seen economic support as a tourist "treasure chest", proudly displaying its history and culture as a former coal and railroad town with quaint shops and train rides.  Carbon County has a natural appeal in that it is part of the Pocono Mountains.

  

DEER MEADOW INN . 256 Pumphouse Road . Weatherly, PA . 18255 . 570-427-4573
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