Obscure Town Named After Jim Thorpe Doesn’t Want To Give Up His Remains
July 17 / Dan Fogarty / SportsGrid
The son of one of the greatest athletes of all time, Jim Thorpe, wants his father's remains returned to Oklahoma from the small town in Pennsylvania that uses them as a tourist attraction.
Jack Thorpe says he "resents" the use of his father's remains to draw tourists to Jim Thorpe, Pa., a small town in the Pocono Mountains that's whole economy is basically tied to Thorpe, who is widely regarded to be one of the best all-around athletes in history.
There are two things that are interesting about this story:
1) Thorpe's son, Jack Thorpe, is demanding the remains be returned under a federal law designed to give Native American artifacts back to their homeland. Thorpe was born into the Sac and Fox Tribe of Oklahoma.
In a bizarre deal to draw tourists, the merging towns of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, Pa., brokered a deal with Thorpe's ambitious third wife that renamed the community Jim Thorpe in 1954 and brought his remains to a corner of the Pocono Mountains that he likely never saw.
All in all, burying Jim Thorpe's remains near where The Office takes place seems weird to me, and I'd be surprised if they didn't end up back in Oklahoma. This, of course, is bad news for the town who's entire economy is based on a single athlete, but we've seen recently how that's not exactly the greatest plan to begin with.