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Asa Packer Mansion

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1860–1861, 1878. 3 Packer Hill Rd.

Asa Packer went from carpenter to farmer to barge captain on Josiah White's canal, and, finally, to captain of industry in a rags to riches story that exemplified the great boom of eastern Pennsylvania. He invested his barge profits in a Mauch Chunk store, made a small fortune as a merchant, and by 1852 had set out to create a railroad to compete with White's canal. Within three years the Lehigh Valley Railroad was completed and moving coal year-round, unlike the canal that was limited by winter ice and summer drought. His great house overlooking the town is one result of his fortune. For all his wealth, the house is a handsome but not overly ostentatious Italianate villa, more Andrew Jackson Downing's notion of a republican villa than the plutocratic mansions of the 1870s. Nonetheless, it is remarkable for its octagonal belvedere that provided a view of the Lehigh River valley. It is a National Historic Landmark.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "Asa Packer Mansion", [Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-CA9.

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