North Carolina History Marker Honoring Jim Thorpe

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — A historic marker alerting motorists that two-time 1912 Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe, who once played professional baseball in eastern North Carolina, has returned more two years after being accidentally demolished.

The replacement road marker honoring Thorpe in downtown Rocky Mount was installed two weeks ago, state Department of Transportation spokesman Andrew Barksdale told the Rocky Mount Telegram.

A Thorpe marker was first installed in 1960, letting passers-by know that Thorpe had come to town in 1909 to play for the Rocky Mount Railroaders.


Thorpe, a citizen of Sac and Fox/Potawatomi, was stripped of his gold medals for the pentathlon and decathlon after losing his amateur status based on playing baseball in North Carolina. His medals were restored in the early 1980s, about 30 years after his death.

The marker went missing in late 2019. It turned out that the marker had been accidentally hit by a contracted mowing service, who agreed to pay for a replacement, the newspaper reported.

The replacement was ordered in May 2021, but delays have occurred due to staffing shortages at the foundry and requests for backup markers, according to Ansley Wegner, the administrator of the State Highway Historical Marker program.

“I’m happy to know he’s back in place and doing his job,” Wegner said.


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