Jim Thorpe celebrates 200 years, recalls history with Old Home Week
“When I was a kid I used to roller skate up and down this street," said Marge Mulligan.
Mulligan was born and raised in Jim Thorpe.
“I was a baby when the name was changed from 'Mauch Chunk' to 'Jim Thorpe'," she said.
Today she owns Mulligan’s Unique Toy Shop downtown, but at 17 she moved away for several years.
“When I left the town, it wasn’t as thriving as it is today. It was a quiet, peaceful little town. There were no tourists," Mulligan recalled.
With Jim Thorpe marking its bicentennial year, and celebrating 'Old Home Week', Marge and her hometown are reflecting.
“This week we’re looking to do things to celebrate the history of the town, and not just the founding, but all 200 years of it," said Diane Prokop.
Prokop is a former journalist and now runs Times House B&B on Race Street.
“It was a newspaper for 40 years and the presses rolled right in the basement there, and we’ve had people come back whose family operated the newspaper," said Prokop.
But Old Home Week is much more than Jim Thorpe’s iconic architecture.
“Old Home Week isn’t about necessarily house tours, it’s about bringing people back to their homes, to their hometowns," Prokop emphasized.
With the regenisis of the area, locals say it's become a great place for people to rediscover their roots.
“It has changed so much, anybody that’s been away for a long time that comes here is overwhelmed by the difference in the town," said Mulligan.
“We’ve had reunions of folks that worked here at the Times News building, at the Marion Hose Company to bring firefighters to bring back to the now Marion Hose Bar," Prokop said.
“I’ve turned into someone that saw it through the eyes of others and re-appreciate it. So, I love it too," Mulligan shared.
And the fun isn’t over yet... Old Home Week goes until Sunday and there are more events throughout the weekend.
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