For anyone wanting to get a feel for the history of Ligonier and its residents, the city makes it easy. All it takes is a few days of time to visit several top-notch attractions that showcase the city.
First stop should be the Ligonier Visitors Center, housed in a 1920s filling station at the stoplight on the corner of S.R. 5 (Lincolnway South) and West Union Street. There you can visit the Heritage Station Museum which has a collection of various artifacts from Ligonier's storied history, including a restored original Mier carriage which was built right here in Ligonier. There are also several antique radios, telegraphs and microphones dating from 1898 to the first all-transister radio which was manufactured in Indiana in 1954. Spring, summer and fall hours generally are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In the winter the museum and center is open on Saturdays. There's no admission charge but a suggested donation is $2.
Just one block west of S.R. 5 is Ligonier's beautiful tree-lined main street. There you will find lovely three-story Victorian homes which were built by the city's large Jewish population at the turn of the century. Also on Main Street is the Ligonier Historical Museum, Carnegie Library and Gazebo Park.
The Ligonier Historical Museum was built in the late 1800s as a Jewish Temple and features beautiful stained-glass windows. In 2002 it underwent a major renovation which allowed more of its natural beauty to shine. The museum is home to more than 1,000 artifacts relating to the city's past. It is operated by volunteers and is a treasure to the city's residents. Open May 1 to November 1, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM. Special tours by appointment.
On Lincolnway West is "This Ole House," a memories museum that is filled with memorabilia from one family's treasures collected over 5 generations. Visit the museum dedicated to the bygone era of life on the family farm. It's part of the Fashion Farm complex which also includes a restaurant, greenhouse, and landscaping supply store. Open: Tuesday thru Saturday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM - April 15 to November 15. Tours available by appointment.
Travel south of Ligonier on S.R. 5 and US 33 to find Stone's Trace museum, house, and tavern. Stop by and tour the inn's many rooms filled with American artifacts. Located at the junction of US 33 and SR 5, 2 miles south of Ligonier. Open Sunday 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, June through August. Tours Available (260) 856-2871.
On West Union Street, five blocks from the visitors center is the G. Martin Kenney Memorial Park which opened in 1980. This 40 acre park includes a one-mile walking path, lighted ball diamonds, shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, children's play area and picnic pavilions.
While inside the park complex, be sure to visit the Ligonier Sports and Recreation Center. Opened in 1987, the 15,000 square foot facility includes basketball courts, volleyball courts, weightroom, sauna, hot tub, exercise equipment and full locker room facilities. A community room is available for meetings and the center can be rented.
Enjoy walking the brick paths through the Jennie Thompson Gardens to view 25 different flower beds or find a park bench and enjoy the solitude and soothing sounds of water trickling from the fountain. The garden is a lovely setting for weddings.
While travelling from stop to stop, you will notice many pleasant surprises along the way. Dotted throughout Ligonier's historic downtown are over two dozen larger than life murals. Each mural is based around a theme from Ligonier's past. Most prominent among these, is the three story "Strawberry Valley" mural located on the Northeast side of downtown. This scene depicts life as the early settlers would have encountered upon entering the Native American settlement known as Strawberry Valley and later, Ligonier.
Be sure to stop by and say hello to each of our 6 life size bronze statues located in the downtown area as well. These statues were a gift from an anonymous donor and are a welcome addition to the quaint atmosphere in Ligonier.
The Ligonier Visitors Center offers step-on guides for tour buses and will arrange special tours for any group of 10 or more. Call (260) 894-9000 for information. Handicapped Accessible. Hours: May 1 - November 1, Tuesday through Saturdays, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM.
Perhaps you are just looking to reflect on nature and take a relaxing stroll through one of our parks.
Other Parks in the city include Woodlawn Park, located on the site of a tourists camp along the Lincoln Highway. This tree filled park provides picnic tables, a regulation size soccer field, covered pavilions, a skateboard and bmx park, playground equipment and a large sandbox.
Elkhart Riverwalk- This one mile walking path is being developed along the banks of the Elkhart River and features beautiful scenic views. Excellent photo opportunities exist next to either of the two new aluminum pedestrian bridges which were installed in the summer of 2010. The best point of access is near Woodlawn Park just off of Bridge Street as you enter the Industrial Park. Visitors may park in the parking lot behind the former Royal Imprints building.
Triangle Park - Cavin Street - is home of the city clock and fountain. The fountain was donated to the city in 1894. The city clock was donated in 1924 by John Cavin, son of our founder, Isaac Cavin.
Prentiss Park - corner of Martin and Sixth Streets - is named after Nathaniel Prentiss, a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Established around the turn of the century, this quaint park contains children's playground equipment and plenty of shade. A wooden statue of Nathaniel Prentiss was sculpted from the stump of a large tree in the summer of 2010 and is another fun site to see.
Jennie Thompson Gardens - Union Street, at entrance to Kenny Park - was established in 1993. Each year over 12,000 annuals are planted in the park. Take a stroll on the brick paths and stop and relax near the fountain.
Gazebo Park - Main Street, Next to City Hall - Is a replica of our sister city's land mark in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Library Park - Main Street - the land was donated by the Estate of Issac Cavin, founder of Ligonier.
Oak Park Cemetery - located on SR 5 South of downtown - Established in 1865, the cemetery has a historic Jewish section which includes two mausoleums and many of the headstones are written in Hebrew.