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Jim Thorpe wants to keep drivers from tearing up grass at Olympian monument

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    Jim Thorpe is working to prevent damage to the grass around the Jim Thorpe Memorial on Route 903. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

Published June 11. 2019 02:35PM


Jim Thorpe borough hopes to prevent drivers from tearing up the grass at the Jim Thorpe Memorial without permanently closing it to the public.

“We want to welcome people to the area certainly but it’s just not an ideal spot to pull in there, especially if you have a bigger vehicle,” said borough council President Greg Strubinger.

The memorial is on Route 903, and includes the final resting place of the famed athlete for whom the town is named.

The borough is thinking about widening the driveway. But until that project can be finalized, officials put up barriers to limit the entrance to cars and small trucks, and then put chains across the entrance.

After complaints from multiple residents, they decided to take down the chains.

“We just removed the chains and hopefully everyone will keep a better eye out now and if they see anything, report anyone who’s damaging it,” said Borough Manager Maureen Sterner.

The borough did multiple landscaping projects after trucks and buses drove over the blacktop curbs at the entrance, and through the grass surrounding the memorial.

Sterner said the first time it was fixed, someone drove through the next day.

“When they were back to fix it again, someone came and drove right through it (again),” she said.

Strubinger said his understanding is that the barriers were put in so the landscaping work had time to grow.

He said he would support widening the driveway to make it more accessible.

Councilman Jay Miller said if drivers continue to disrespect the memorial, the borough should shut it down out of respect for Thorpe’s memory.

“That it is a grave site, it should be respected,” Miller said.

Sterner said she hopes that residents took notice that the memorial was closed, and that they will be more observant to report when they see someone vandalizing the memorial site.

“It’s not just a matter of damage, this is someone’s grave site. Have a bit of respect,” she said.


Brilliant local politicians at work, let's close the memorial just like the Glen. What's next gestapo like checkpoints at the end of town to the keep tourists out? If anyone can do it I know Heftley and Snakefranko can!

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