A native Chunker's reflection
If the spirit of Jim Thorpe cannot be at peace according to Indian tradition, then it is only fair that he be returned home so he can rest in peace on the proper reservation.
The idea of changing the name of our town was with good intentions but the promises made never materialized. Mauch Chunk never saw a cancer research center or a sports hall of fame. Instead, the taxpayers of "The Mauch Chunks" were saddled with the expense of undergoing the name change and making all the proper accomodations.
There was a period of time when Mauch Chunk seemed to be on an economic downturn, similar to what many other communities in our area faced when the mines began to close up shop. However, there were two aspects that saved Mauch Chunk. First, was it's unique historical value and architecture. Second, a local driving force which believed in redevelopment and restoring the only assets left behind from a booming canal, railroad, and coal mining community. The rich history and architecture of Mauch Chunk is what people from around the globe seek to explore now.
The merging of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk would have taken with or without the name change, simply because it made goodeconomic sense.
There is a solution to this situation, before the borough invests anymore of our tax dollars, we should return Jim Thorpe's body so that he can be at peace. However, cost incurred through this action should be the responsibility of Thorpe's family that seek to have him returned.
All costs incurred to the Borough through changing the name back to the Borough of Mauch Chunk should be covered by the family. Afterall, it may be cheaper than waging a legal war within the courts.
Rest in peace Jim, life was hard enough for you. You deserve to go back home.
Edith McLaughlin Lukasevich
A Native Chunker