The fall of 2013 a movie premier was shown at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The film, Jim Thorpe: The Old Mauch Chunk History Tour, a new documentary was screened, appropriately, in the town’s Victorian theater, followed by a reception.
The eleven-month project was the creation of a partnership between local history buff and historical novelist, Bill Allison, and the director and filmmaker, John Troxell, who studied film at Lehigh Carbon Community College. Having guided visitors for many years on a scripted tour through Jim Thorpe’s Historical District, Allison approached Troxell, asking to film the experience so that others can learn about the dynamic men and women, who built this well-preserved little city, set amidst the Lehigh Gorge and once called the Switzerland of America.
John Troxell followed Allison up and down the mountainous landscape of the Lehigh Gorge and through Jim Thorpe’s historic district through the fall of 2012, capturing the brilliant colored displayed in the fall foliage. Finished outdoors by the cold weather, Troxell retreated to his studio for the long editing process for John’s largest project yet. By the end of that summer, the finished DVD was released to the public.
The film takes you on a walk among Victorian homes and into private historic gems such as the Asa Packer Mansion, the Molly Maguire courtroom, the Inn at Jim Thorpe, the Mauch Chunk Opera House, the Mauch Chunk Museum, and St. Mark’s Church. No other filmmaker has ever attempted to cover Jim Thorpe’s Historic District, while answering the question, How did Jim Thorpe remain an intact Victorian town into the 21st Century?
Jim Thorpe: The Old Mauch Chunk History Tour is on sale locally at the Mauch Chunk 5 & 10, Sound Check Records, and the Mauch Chunk Museum. Price $15. For the website and trailer, see www.JimThorpeHistoryTour.com