2012 Train Ride to Jim Thorpe

On Sunday, October 14 ten members and friends of BMSA boarded the Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad train at Port Clinton and departed on a 2 ½ hour trip to Jim Thorpe.  The weather was mostly sunny and pleasant and it was an enjoyable ride.  Part of the fun was sitting with our friends in the old fashioned train seats that have seat backs that flip over so four people can sit facing each other while enjoying the scenery.  We had snacks to munch on while we chatted and the time passed quickly.  As we arrived at the train station in Jim Thorpe there were hundreds of people buying food from the many vendors.  I opted for one of my favorites, the pulled pork sandwich with barbeque sauce, topped off with a big old twisted soft pretzel.  After we refueled the engines we walked up the main street and headed for the old jailhouse.  We each bought a tour ticket and waited our turns as it was a busy day.  It took about 40 minutes to complete the tour and we got to see the gallows where the famous Molly Maguires were hung in 1877.  One of the most famous curiosities of the prison is the eerie hand print that never disappeared.  One of the inmates once claimed, in defiance, that he would never be forgotten as his handprint, placed on a wall in one of the cells, remained, even after repeated washing and digging out of the cement on the wall.  The town itself was in a festive mood with a live band playing in front of one of the local businesses and several locals walked the streets dressed in period costumes that took you back to the late 19th century.  We walked past the gorgeous artwork and architecture at St. Mark’s church – a combination of Queen Anne and Late Gothic Revival architecture with beautiful Tiffany and Gibson windows, but unfortunately did not have time to tour the church as we were due to board our train back to Port Clinton at 3 PM for a 3:30 departure.  During our return trip we were asked to fill out a questionnaire about our likes and dislikes.  Our only complaint was that the train left too early to return home as we would have enjoyed more time to visit the town and take in some of the great dining at the local restaurants.  We arrived back at Port Clinton just before dark and some of us drove to Logan’s Roadhouse near Cabela’s for a good dinner.  We ate and drank and dumped our peanut shells on the floor as the sign so directed us.  It felt like a full day by the time we got home.  During the drive back we discussed returning again, maybe by car next time to take along our bikes or kayaks and enjoy more of a great area.

Joe Rutolo

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