The Asa Packer Mansion,
built in 1860, sits high above the town of Jim Thorpe. The mansion
was the home of Asa Packer (1805-1879), a prominent Pennsylvania
industrialist, philanthropist and public servant, who began
his career making canal boats. Asa Packer came to town as an
apprentice boatbuilder. He died 57 years later as a millionaire,
after founding boatyards, construction and mining companies,
the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and Lehigh University. His three-story
Victorian Italianate building has a center hall plan, though
at each end of the house is a one-room extension with a bowed
end. Several stylistic details ornament mark the exterior, including
an Italianate roof and elaborate wooden brackets, Gothic window
arches, and Gothic gingerbread trefoil motifs trimming the verandah.
Interior detailing and furnishings reflect the wealth and influence
of the owners. The Main Hallway features fine woodcarvings by
European artisans. The Gothic motif is used throughout, and
is particularly dramatic in the woodcarvings in the Main Hall
and stairs and the bracketed ceiling and stained-glass windows
in the dining room. The Asa Packer Mansion has been preserved,
complete with original furnishings, and is open to the public.
Exterior and Interior photographs
of the mansion
Photographs by Sue Pridemore
and the Asa Packer Mansion Museum
Portrait of Asa Packer
courtesy of the Asa Packer Mansion Museum
Asa Packer built another Victorian mansion next to his own home
as a Lehigh Valley Railroad company owned home. This home was
later lived in by his railroad enginer son, Harry Packer, and
the Harry Packer Mansion is now used as an inn. Following the
death of his daughter, Mary Packer Cummings in 1912, the Asa
Packer Mansion and furnishings were given to the borough of
Mauch Chunk. The Packer family lived in the home from 1861-1912.
In 1985 the Asa Packer Mansion was designated a National Historic
Landmark. The Asa Packer Mansion is open to the public.
The Asa Packer Mansion Museum is located at 30 Elk St.,
in Jim Thorpe, and is open weekends during April, May, November
and the first 3 weekends in December. The Mansion is open
7 days a week from Memorial Day to October 31, 11:00am to
4:15pm. For group reservations, please call 570-325-3229,
or visit www.asapackermansionmuseum.com.