Sunday, August 21, 2011

jim thorpe

In the ten years we've had a house in Jim Thorpe I never actually went to the Jim Thorpe memorial.  I pass it all the time on my way down the hill but just never stopped. So today I did...

I knew of Jim Thorpe mostly as an Olympic athlete and a football player but some say he was the greatest  athlete of all time...

James Francis Thorpe was born on May 28, 1887 in a one-room cabin near Prague, Oklahoma. Although there is much confusion on Thorpe's date of birth, this is the date according to his estate. He was born to Hiram Thorpe, a farmer, and Mary James, a Pottawatomie Indian and descendant of the last great Sauk and Fox chief Black Hawk, a noted warrior and athlete. Jim was actually born a twin, but his brother Charlie died at the age of nine. His Indian name, Wa-Tho-Huk, translated to "Bright Path", something that Thorpe definitely had ahead of him. 

You can read more about Jim Thorpe here..

The town of Jim Thorpe used to be called Mauch Chunk.
So how did Jim Thorpe get its name?
In the early 1950s, when the place was two adjoining towns, Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, it was looking for a shot of publicity. It soon heard that the third wife of the late Jim Thorpe, the great Native American athlete, was offering his remains to any place that would build a fitting memorial to him. Mauch Chunk was ready, willing and able. The body arrived on Feb. 8, 1954, and the first monument was built soon after. And on May 18 of the same year, Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk were merged and renamed Jim Thorpe.

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