Jim Thorpe is located in Carbon County, of which it is the county seat, northwest of Allentown along Highway 209 near Beltzville Lake and Wild Creek Reservoir.
Originally called Mauch Chunk, the community was spearheaded by Asa Packer, one of the nation's wealthiest tycoons, and thrived during the Industrial Revolution. It became the wealthiest town in the United States.
Jim Thorpe was a Native American athlete of the 1912 Olympics, in which he broke multiple world records and was praised by King Gustav as "the greatest athlete in the world." He was buried here in 1953, and the nearby towns converged and changed their names to honor his memory.
Of special interest in this community is the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, built in 1881, and the Asa Packer Mansion, built in 1861 for the philanthropist and railroad magnate.