Lady Justice is a Ghost on Halloween

Marion Hose Bar in Jim Thorpe, PA

What better place to either stoke or put out my penchant for political fire starting than in a prominent old firehouse that has been tastefully renovated into a restaurant and lounge? And that is exactly what transpired during a recent afternoon into evening session at the newly opened Marion Hose Bar in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. While there we were joined by the always affable owners of the Gilded Cupid Bed and Breakfast, Bob and Sheila.

In the course of our communications, there was some speculation about which path Lady Justice might take concerning the ongoing probes into the past and present shenanigans of the Executive Branch of  our government. All of us have been around long enough to know that even the most well-intentioned of Roman allegorical personifications has been known to take off the blinders when it comes to dealing with the rich and powerful. Most certainly, that fact was on full display there in Jim Thorpe, then known as Mauch Chunk, on June 21, 1877.

Ghostly HandOn that date, Alexander Campbell’s supposed last gesture before facing the hangman’s noose, was to place his soiled hand upon the wall of his cell and then swear that his mark would remain for all time in proof of his innocence. Three other men, all Irish coal miners, would share the gallows at the Carbon County Jail that day, and six more would also hang in nearby Pottsville. Though tried for murder and various criminal activities associated with the secretive Molly Maguires, the real purpose behind the trials and resulting executions was not about serving justice, but more likely part of an overall strategy by the bosses and owners to eradicate any attempt at organizing labor in the Pennsylvania coal industry.

While. historians continue to argue the guilt or innocence of those involved, and now even question the source of that ghostly aberration on the wall of cell 17, that image serves as another grim reminder that justice is not always evenhanded.

The Ghost at the Calaboose GrilleFurther evidence of the fact that even death does not automatically deal us that “Get out of Jail Free” card can be seen in this rather intriguing photo taken at the Calaboose Grille in Owega, New York. Click here to read more about that haunted location.

During these scary times, one begins to wonder what terrifying future specter might materialize on that dreary prison wall or be captured by the camera’s lens? I don’t know about you, but the thought of Paul Manafort in an orange jumpsuit frightens the hell out of me! Not that I have any difficulty with that potential outcome, it’s just that the image of that individual or any of his ilk in that particular piece of Federal fashion garb  is more than my visual cortex could endure.

Happy Halloween from American Public House Review!

Posted by: Chris Poh

 

 

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Countdown to St. Patty’s Day; Our Annual Pilgrimage to Jim Thorpe, PA

Today we find ourselves only one week from Saint Patrick’s Day.  And since the upcoming weekend is one normally filled with holiday celebrations, I thought I might take this opportunity to suggest a place to get your Irish on, Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

© Kathleen Connally

It seems every Saint Patrick’s Day, we here at Pub Talk and the American Public House Review make some mention of the St. Patty’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe.  That’s because all of us have a true affection for the event and the people we have met there over the years.  For us, it is trip we look forward to for most of the year, and one the never seems to disappoint.  Let me just say this without getting in to too much detail,   the folks of Jim Thorpe know how to honor the holiday properly.

So if you plan on heading out to Jim Thorpe this weekend, be ready for something near an Irish-American Mardi Gras.  And if you know where to go and who to ask, you may just find most of the staff of the American Public House Review taking in the festivities.  We will either be tending bar, hanging precariously out of windows, singing Irish songs, or trading shots of whiskey for musket-fire.  It’s just all in a day’s work here at the Review!

by Dave McBride


Finding the Perfect Haunted House in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Harry Packer Mansion - Jim Thorpe, PA

Harry Packer Mansion – Jim Thorpe, PA

Who amongst the living is not searching for that  perfect haunted house? Having grown up in a typical post World War II suburban community in New Jersey, the predominant architecture did little to stimulate my Gothic sensitivities. Cape Cods with raised dormers, and split level colonials just didn’t seem to lend themselves to a good ghost story. But in the town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania there is a potential haunting at every turn.

As you walk these dimly lit narrow streets under a pale moon, there is a feeling that just behind every door is that portal to the netherworld, and at every window the vaporous smokey shape and disembodied eyes watching ones tenuous passage through this earthly existence. 

Asa Packer Mansion - Jim Thorpe, PA

Asa Packer Mansion – Jim Thorpe, PA

Two of my favorite potential haunted abodes in Jim Thorpe are the Asa Packer and Harry Packer  mansions. The latter having been the inspiration for the “Haunted Mansion” at Disney World in Florida. But quite frankly, when I’m really in the mood to exorcise my demons, I prefer to dance with the spirit of the barley at the cozy  shebeen at the Gilded Cupid Bed and Breakfast, or the public bar at the Molly Maguire’s Pub and Steakhouse.Cozy Parlor Bar at the Gilded Cupid B&B

 

Happy Halloween from all of us at American Public House Review!

Posted by: Chris Poh

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

Every Picture Tells a Story

The Alleged Hooligans

The Alleged Hooligans

In a move that mirrors the potential arrest and prosecution of Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps after the publishing of the now infamous bong photo in a British tabloid, Carbon County officials in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania are  considering  charges against the publisher and marketing director of the on-line magazine American Public House Review. State and local law enforcement were put on high alert after a series of damning photographs appeared on the Internet.

According to one  high ranking source, who wished to remain anonymous, these images expose  the kind of monkeyshines and shenanigans that the decent citizens of Jim Thorpe can not and will not tolerate. He went on to say, “I will doggedly pursue these recalcitrant rascals…and these hooligans will be brought to justice.”

Secret court documents found in a briefcase under the third bar stool at the Molly Maguire’s Pub allege that after consuming copious amounts of Irish Whiskey at an undisclosed location in Jim Thorpe during last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the two gentleman targeted in this investigation, Chris Poh and David McBride attempted to disrupt and lay seige to the grand procession down Broadway. The photographic evidence indicates that there were efforts made to sabotage a pipe band which led to the eventual armed conflit.

Try Playing "Scotland the Brave" Now

Try Playing "Scotland the Brave" Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We'll Get Those Two Rascals

We'll Get Those Two Rascals

Sponsors for these two giants of the fourth estate, (several distilleries and a couple of breweries) said that they would stand behind their men… or wherever necessary in order to hold them up. When reached for comment, neither had much to say other than vowing to return for this year’s parade.

See you in Jim Thorpe on March 15th!

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Posted by: Dunmore Throop

New Hope for the Holidays

CNJ Train Station - Jim Thorpe, PA - Christmas 2008

CNJ Train Station - Jim Thorpe, PA - Christmas 2008

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any worse for humankind this year, rumors started to be heard on the streets of Jim Thorpe, PA that one our much vaunted stops along the Irish drinking parlor  circuit,  the Molly Maguire’s Pub was not going to renew its lease at year’s end. But now certain well placed sources are saying that a reprieve of sorts is in the cards, and that this venerable institution will remain intact for at least one more grand parade down Broadway come this March. “Saints Be Praised.”

And while we are on the topic of  Jim Thorpe, I was speaking with the owner of The Gandy Dancer; as a devotee and dealer of railroad photography,  he is one who certainly appreciates the Tracks and Taverns section of our magazine. He was also kind enough to share the image of the train station as a way to pass along the spirit of the season from all the good people up in  Jim Thorpe.

Another great Pennsylvania community also sends out its holiday greetings to the rest of mankind in the current issue of  American Public House Review. Indulge your visual senses with these images of the city of Bethlehem in this photo essay compiled by Kathleen Connally.

 On behalf of  the creative and editorial staff, and all the communities and public houses that have opened their doors and hearts to us during the past year we wish everyone – 

A Season Filled With Hope and Many Blessings!

Candle and Tankard

Candle and Tankard

And May Your Candle Always Burn Bright, and May Your Tankard  Always Be Full!
 
 
Posted by: Chris Poh, Editor-in-Chief

A ghostly tale from behind the walls

With all of the talk on this blog in recent weeks about ghosts and hauntings, I thought I would relay to you one of my own paranormal experiences.  It took place in a town we have talked about quite a bit, in a building whose sad story has already been told on the American Public House Review.  It was my first trip inside the Carbon County Jail in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.

Now let me begin by saying that I am not a self proclaimed medium.  I am not at all sensitive to so-called spirit activity.  I have never once walked into a place and felt a “presence” and I am somewhat suspicious of those who do.  And to the credit of the people giving us a tour of this historic site, there wasn’t really much talk of ghosts and haunting.  This was instead mostly an important local history lesson, and a compelling one.  Outside of the famous handprint on the wall, very little was said about the supernatural. 

The jail is a fascinating place.  It does have an amazingly macabre feel right down to the architecture and simple details.  But as we toured through the main part of the jail, nothing seemed at all disturbing to me outside the incredibly disturbing details of what happened within these thick walls.  Then we made our way downstairs into the basement or the “dungeon” as they used to call it.  This was where people were kept in an incredibly harsh solitary confinement.   As we descended the staircase, the air began to feel heavier to me.

I was at the end of the line, lagging behind as usually happens to me on these types of tours.  I always end up reading or looking at something for too long.  So I hurried to catch up.  As I moved down the stairs, I could feel my nerves building, though I was not at all aware of why.  I could hear the tour guide speaking about the dungeon, but didn’t comprehend much of it at all.  As I crossed into the dungeon a feeling of fear hit me.  I looked around the place, as the group listened in very dim lighting to tales of human suffering.  For a brief moment, in a cell behind the tour group to my left, I thought I saw a man, mostly cast in shadow, kneeling on the ground. There was no doubt it was a man, but I couldn’t make out a face.  I knew it was not a fellow tourist.  But who was it? 

Within an instant, I flinched to my right, putting my hand to my face as if to block something or someone from hitting me.  But nothing was there.  For some unforeseen reason, I felt as if I had to guard my face from an assault.  Now I was just downright intimidated.  Tour or no tour, I was getting out of there.

I walked quickly out of the dungeon and back up the stairs.  I could hear the tour guide asking my friends if there was a problem, but I was not going back no matter what.  As soon as I made it back up the stairs, the feelings stopped.  And then I went through all the ways I could think of to rationalize the experience.  Was that just a shadow reflecting on the wall in the cell?  Was I feeling some kind of claustrophobia down there?  Was that just a bug I saw out of the corner of my right eye?  I had no idea.  All I did know was that it was time for a drink…

by Dave McBride

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