Jim Thorpe Historical Marker In Rocky Mount Has Gone Missing
A historical marker honoring Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe is missing, and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is requesting the public's help in finding it.
The marker, which was located at the corner of Church Street and Falls Road in Rocky Mount, noted that Thorpe made his professional baseball debut with the Rocky Mount Railroaders in 1909. In a release, the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said citizens "report that the marker was on the post last week, and there does not appear to have been an accident."
Thorpe, a Native American who was born in Oklahoma on a reservation, was a gold medalist Olympic athlete in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. At the time, Sweden's King Gustav V called him "the greatest athlete in the world."
A year after Thorpe won his gold medals, he was forced to return them after it was revealed he had played semipro baseball in North Carolina -- thus causing him to lose his amateur status. However, in 1982, nearly 30 years after Thorpe's death, the International Olympic Committee restored his Olympic medals after the efforts of family and friends to restore his amateur status were successful.
Anyone with information on the missing marker is asked to contact the N.C. Highway Historical Marker office at 919-814-6620.