Nicole Michalik

Weekdays 3PM-7PM

The Asa Packer Mansion, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

I grew up 5 minutes from Jim Thorpe and the Asa Packer Mansion is beyond fascinating. I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot, and the tour at the mansion is one of the coolest I’ve done.   You can still go today and take a tour, and it’s almost faster of a drive than going to Orlando!  A quick refresher – Asa is the founder of Lehigh University and made his money by shipping coal on the railroad.  He was also an incredible and generous human.

Here are the details:

Shunned by many other aristocrats of his time (he shared his wealth and created a free university), Mr. Asa Packer was a canal boat owner who moved to Maunch Chunk, PA in 1833. Building his own home, he later built his son Harry a mansion next door as a wedding present in 1874. That building is now known as the Harry Packer Mansion.

In 1880, after his father’s death, Harry added a front veranda and the study wing, which were both designed by Quaker architect Addison Hutton. The front veranda area consists of famous New Your Blue stone and still showcases the original Mahogany ceiling and tiled floor, popular at that time. When looking at the photos, you can see the weathered, tarnished copper touches as well as the long and tall windows found on “our” Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square.

Disney Imagineers likely took research trips, much like they do now, to create the Florida mansion’s facade. Pulling from northeastern historic places, this Pennsylvania mansion holds a strong resemblance to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion.