Jim Thorpe is a town in eastern Pennsylvania. Founded in 1818 and originally known as Mauch Chunk, Jim Thorpe has plenty of history to discover. It is officially defined as a borough with a population of 4,781. The town is actually fondly called by its residents the “Switzerland of America” because of its mountainous location combined with picturesque scenery. The roots of Jim Thorpe stretch back to the early nineteenth century when Josiah White, the founder of the town, discovered how to effectively use Anthracite coal as an energy source. The Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company was created and began mining operations in the surrounding hills. Innovative techniques were used to transport the coal, including dams, locks and canals along the Lehigh River as well as a Switchback Gravity Railroad which is known as one of the oldest roller coasters in the world. After its days of mining use were over, it became a popular thrill ride for Victorian tourists, who came to the area to enjoy the great outdoors and admire the incredible mansions of wealthy industrialists like Asa Packer.