Jim Thorpe in Carbon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Self Made Man
View his Life from his Home
—1805 - 1879 —
From Asa Packer's 1867 biography
"The Rich Men of the World and How they Gained their Wealth"
Born to humble beginnings, Asa Packer came here from Mystic, Connecticut. Packer's successful ventures in canal boat building, farming and running a general store provided the money to build the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
Mr. Packer's interest in his fellowman's well being led him into politics and public service. He served as Carbon County judge for five years. Later, he served in the Pennsylvania State Legislature and two terms as United States Congressman. At the Democratic National Convention of 1868, Packer stood proud as a presidential nominee. During his 74 years, Packer gave millions of dollars to charitable causes. His single greatest act of generosity founded Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. The Packer children continued his legacy building hospitals, schools, churchs, and fire companies throughout the area and beyond.
In 1912, with the death of Mr. Packer's last child, Mary Packer Cummings, the Borough of Mauch Chunk inherited the home and its contents. The Jim Thorpe Lions Club opened the home to the public
Matthew S. Henry, 1860, History of the Lehigh Valley
1. Lehigh Valley Railroad - Founded by Asa Packer on the eastern bank of the Lehigh River, it lies at the base of Bear Mountain. Once essential for moving coal from Pennsylvania's southern anthracite fields, Norfolk Southern now runs freight on the line, essential to their success.
2. Lehigh Canal - The Lehigh Coal and Navigation company originally employed Packer as a canal boat builder. An early means for shipping coal, today the Canal and adjacent Trail are part of a major preservation effort.
3. New Jersey Central Railroad Station - Once Packer's rival, the 1888 NJCRR passenger train station is now a Visitor Information Center and Landing for the Delaware and Lehigh National and State Heritage Corridor.
4.LC&N Building - Offices of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company were located here. Richly ornamented with terra cotta masonry, today it houses senior citizens.
5. Carbon County Courthouse - Mr. Packer served as county judge in the original wooden courthouse. Later, the
6. St. Mark's Church - Packer was instrumental in building this church and served as vestryman for over 40 years. Many family memorial gifts adorn this fine Gothic Church where the Packer family worshipped.
7. Historic Stone Row - Packer constructed sixteen stone row homes in 1848 as company housing for his employees. Unique shops and residents preserve them for future generations.
Nearby National Historic Landmark plaque
has been designated a
National Historic Landmark
This property possesses national significance in commemorating the history of the United States of America
Built in 1860 for industrialist and philanthropist Asa Packer, this house is one of the Nation's most perfectly preserved Italian villas
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 40° 51.832′ N, 75° 44.27′ W. Marker is in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, in Carbon County. Marker is on Packer Hill Road west of East Calawissa Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Packer Hill Road, Jim Thorpe PA 18229, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument (here, next to this marker); Carbon County (a few steps from this marker); Joe Boyle Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Packer Mansion (within shouting distance of this marker); Anthracite (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Mountain to Market (about 300 feet away); Mauch Chunk Railroad Station (about 300 feet away); National War Savings Campaign of 1918 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jim Thorpe.
More about this marker. There are two pictures on The Self Made Man Marker. The main picture is of engineers posing near a train engine of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The caption reads, "Asa Packer founded the Lehigh Valley Railroad. LVRR Engine No. 72, "Montana", was built in 1865." There is also a portrait of "Asa Packer: Industrialist, statesman, and philanthropist."
Also see . . . Asa Packer at FindAGrave.com. (Submitted on July 14, 2011, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Education • Industry & Commerce • Notable Persons • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,256 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 25, 2010, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.