Finding the New Spirit of the Molly Maguires in Jim Thorpe, PA

Standing on the heights above Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania one can not help but get a sense of the powerful mystique that pervades this historic American town. Every door and window beckons to those that care enough to hear the tale. Step through these portals and meet the ghosts of our past and the spirit of our future.

I began this year’s annual March pilgrimage  with a pint and a song at the quiet shebeen located off the back parlor of the Gilded Cupid Bed and Breakfast. My cup was filled with Guinness, and my ears were filled with a tune trumpeting the struggles and exploits of the Molly Maguires. In past years, I would have raised that first glass honoring those intrepid Irish colliers from a bar stool at the old Molly Maguire’s Pub; but unfortunately that celebrated saloon on Broadway, like so many of the region’s anthracite mines,  is no longer in operation. 

But Jim Thorpe is that resilient community that epitomizes the grit and fortitude of the nation. Today once more you can hear the coal cars of the Reading and Northern Railroad  rolling through the Lehigh Gorge from the outside deck of the  recently reincarnated Molly Maguires Pub. It was there that I ended this year’s journey – raising a final pint in tribute to both the Irish heart and the American spirit! 

All of us at American Public House Review wish everyone a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 Click here to enjoy some suitable Irish tunes for the celebration.

    Posted by: Chris Poh


Fare Thee Well to the Molly Maguires Pub in Jim Thorpe

Sadly, history is about to repeat itself once again, as it was on that infamous day in June of 1877 –  there will no reprieve for the Molly Maguires.  

At some point during the evening of December 20th,2009 the last pint will be drawn,  toasts will shared,  tears will be shed – and the Molly Maguires Pub in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania will close its doors forever.

I will not comment on those  circumstances that brought about the demise of this much-loved institution, other than to say that the  self interests and intrigues of a business are not always in harmony with the needs and desires of the clientele. Having just suffered through a similar loss of my own favorite local, (the over two-year closure of the bar at the National Hotel in Frenchtown, NJ),  I can more than empathize with the citizens of Jim Thorpe.

Taverns like Molly’s are much more than just a place to grab a beer and a burger. Besides providing employment they define the character of the area, they become a repository of local lore and  history, they are a measure of a town’s hospitality and integrity – they are in short the lifeblood and lifeline of a community!


As for myself, every visit to Jim Thorpe over the last nine years has begun and ended with a pint of Murphy’s Irish Amber at that wonderful bar. I am very thankful to the  gracious staff and generous customers that always made it feel like home. For the sake of all the good people in Jim Thorpe, I hope and pray that a new vision and vitality finds its way to the place that was the Molly Maguire’s Pub…Fare Thee Well!                                                                                                  

Posted by: Chris Poh

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