This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't miss it!

There is a house that does the most creative Halloween display each year, but only on Halloween.  Here's a hint: If you ride the bus to the Marker building, you pass it every school day.  
So get out and look for it, because they usually take their decorations down by the next day.

Happy halloween

SOS SOS need more candy on West Main!

There are sure lots of kids on the streets RIGHT NOW and why I am upstairs blogging? I ran out of candy!

This is my first time doing the merchant candy trick or treat. When we lived on West Main, I always did the normal trick or treat and we got at MOST 100, usually 50 trick or treaters.

I bought about 200 pieces of chocolate candy, my Halloween favorites, Clark Bars, Baby Ruths, Three Musketeers, Kit Kats. At first I figured everything was cool, then I said hello to the woman in front of the Finishing Touch. She told me they gave away 500 pieces last year.

That's when I knew I was in BIG trouble.

Suffice it to say all the chocolate is gone along with all the Cream Savers we had in the office - two big bags.

I had to laugh. The kids getting the chocolate were so thankful that it wasn't a pen...LOL....buT the kids getting the Cream Savers were like...what the heh? Their mothers all made them say thank you and yes they were all very polite but that JOY wasn't quite there.

OH WELL........I'll be a better prepared merchant lady next year.


Oh, and BTW - I finally got to meet Byron and Lise and their two lovely daughters and yes I was able to recognize them costumed exactly as described! who who who!

Good afternoon, Ligonier! Hey, where are the ghosts and goblins?

Samhain history, not a truly pagan past completely

The Irish word Samhain is derived from the Old Irish samain, samuin, or samfuin, all referring to the festival and royal assmbly held on that date in medieval Ireland.  It means "summers end". It represents the final harvest and meant time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies and slaughter the animals for the winter food. Bonfires were a central part of the celebration. Other flames were extinguished and then every villager took a flame from the bonfire to light their hearth and uniting the village together. 


Any Samhain celebrations?! My celt blood is bubbling to the surface. Reminds me of Return of the Native the movie, but book by Thomas Hardy. 

Have you heard of the Mommy Gear store here in Ligonier?

No?  Well, I found out this week that lot of folks living and working in Ligonier haven't heard of this terrific store.  We had a baby shower in the office and I picked up some darling little baby winter boots and a precious little hat - hand knitted by our Ligonier Valley Library children's librarian - whose name I can't remember and the cute little tag went with the hat!

Anyway, if you are a mommy - especially a nursing mommy - or you need a gift for children, babies or mommies, go to MOMMY GEAR.

BTW - Children are welcome.  There's a nice little play area for little ones so Mommy can peruse the merchandise in peace.

Just walk down East Main till you get to The Ivy Cafe then turn right and Mommy Gear in on the right, just down the hill.

Connections Store....selling to support learning

Located on South Market Street, not far from Fort Ligonier, the Connections Store is a branch of the Ligonier Valley Learning Center, Inc.  This not-for-profit merchandiser helps to support the programs offered by the Center.

Good morning,'s Halloween. BOO!


She says hi my name is amanda

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Small Town Charm… Big Town Facilities

newly renovated Newberry Firehouse Conference Center, Check it out
I wonder if something like this would work in Ligonier, only on smaller scale. Just a thought, I may be totally off course, but I'm thinking that a center located in a historical building could be a wonderful draw for business meetings, weddings, events, etc. This is an article I found about a thriving small town in Newberry SC. I think about 10,000 people. So many small towns are looking for ways to keep what they have alive so that a larger percentage of residents can afford to work AND live there.

Does Ligonier need a $5 Million Safety Building?

The word on the street is that the once “dead in the water” safety building planned for the Armory site is once again on the burner. I’m sure this blog will attract the proponents starting with Butch.

In my opinion, the best proposal for the Armory site is residential housing and the preliminary study done by EGC supports that. It is the best way to put that property on the tax rolls. Ligonier Borough has over 25% of the land tax exempt. In just the location of the Armory, we have Mellon Park, the School District property, Holy Trinity and the Pennsylvania Armory all without property tax assessments. We need to get more tax exempt property on the tax rolls.

If a safety center was to be built on this location, consider the following. The total cost was originally estimated at over $5,000,000.00. In addition to that cost, the only way the Borough could maintain the property would be with an additional endowment of at least $2,000,000.00. After that giant step is taken, the borough would be left with two dead properties. The current police/fire building is not conducive for a practical business. The current fire hall would be almost impractical for any business without major re-construction; both properties are in a residential zoned area which complicates the matter.

The ambulance station needs to enlarge and they have the ground to do that on the present site next to the Pennsylvania State Store. The Fire Company owns property adjacent to the fire station and can expand where it is at far, far less cost.

We have a great volunteer fire company with equipment second to none for a town of our size. I doubt if there is a town our size in Pennsylvania that can boast a better ladder truck than we have. Maybe thought should be given to a regionalized safety center located in the township so expenses could be shared between municipalities. We already share the man power and protection for our citizens.

Let the bullets fly……

Merchants Trick or Treat

Don't forget to bring your little goons, beasties, witches, and ghosts out on Friday to the merchants trick or treat to get some candies from the kind merchants. I believe it's 5-6p.m. See you there.....


If everyone spent $10 a week on things made in Pennsylvania it would help the local economy. :-)

3 hr free parking vs paid parking question

Well, I can tell you the a 2 hour limit might work, free parking will not because the area around us is what is called a bedroom community, ie., people travel out of town for their jobs and home again to sleep. Town would get parked full of commuters and there would be no parking left for shoppers. Also the meters feed the annual budget and are important part of it. I wanted free parking on Saturdays because where I grew up, all the farmers came to town to do their shopping. Council said no way!!
A merchant said that is not good because he said the shop owners would park outside their stores and that would plug up the spaces for everyone else. If we had some way of making up the difference of 2 hr free parking vs paid meters, I'm listening!!! There are ways that you can beat 2 hr parking limit and I am not going to tell anyone how it is done. It's real easy.


We've got the Pink Lemonade EBOOST in!!!! 
EBOOST is a Daily Health Booster, contains: Vitamin C, B6, B12, Zinc, Green Tea Extract, plus a host of other vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. This does NOT give you the jitters, but instead you feel like taking on the world and accomplishing it and your every day things with energy and a boost of immunity. I swear by it and do not do well with caffeine so this is perfect. People that drink coffee for the caffeine feel the benefit as well, so do not worry mon cherie. You get 20 packets and the natural pink lemonade tastes sooo good JUST like pink lemonade. This is a special one as well because it is a proud sponsor of the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. Not only will you be helping your body, but helping raise money for breast cancer. Stop in at Equine Chic to get your box of Pink Lemonade or the original. 

Good morning, Ligonier!


Loyalhanna parking lot and "Old SIlver"

I can enlighten you some. I was on Council when that all happened. There was the Commercial Hotel on that lot and it was in really bad shape. As the phone guy who had many trips in & out putting phones in for residents, I can verify that fact.The South wall was bulging out and had stars and rods thru the structure to keep it from falling into the street. Termites had eaten most of the support beams clean off due to a dirt floor in basement. It had at least two fires in the rooms upstairs that were never repaired that I can remember due to tenants catching their rooms on fire. There were BIG holes in the roof, leaking rain inside and it was an unsound structure There was a silver maple tree in back. It was pretty old we had a tree guy look at it and he said it was in the last stages of life. It was leaning East at a pretty good tilt. When Council acquired the place, we got two different plans from the Boro Engineer on how to a construct parking lot. 1st. was to save tree and take it down later if it didn't fall on a car first, that would cut the amount of parking spaces by almost half. 2nd.was to take it down now and be able to use the entire lot for parking. We chose #2 and lo and behold, the tree was hollow inside and not sound.
The reason no one parks there is the quirks of people, they will park above downtown and walk down to shop and then walk back up to their cars, but will not park below downtown and walk up to go shopping. Funny, huh?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wow, look at these great pictures!

Ligonier is a small town in Western Pennsylvania where my Italian great grandparents settled when they immigrated to the United States around 1912. I was finally able to visit it for the first time last weekend. It is probably the sweetest little slice of Americana that I have ever seen. The town square, called "The Diamond" has a gazebo where bands play in the summer. Surrounding the Diamond are stone churches, a brick post office and city hall, and unique little shops selling candy, apparel, and memorabilia. It was really special to see a piece of my family's history, and such a wonderful day to be there!

by Della Huff Photography

Good afternoon, Ligonier!

A short story, RIDING THE RAILS:

A True Story, written by Darlington resident Nellie Riggs McQuillis, was posted in the BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE on October 29. The author is a retired Ligonier Valley school teacher. To read it click on RIDING THE RAILS: A True Story (visitor writings)

The online magazine also features two Halloween stories, JOURNEY’S END (WR/BW JOAN-M) & THE HAUNTED CABIN IN THE WOODS (CHILDREN)

A popular feature this time of year, when bears are prowling about before their hibernation, is BEAR CONFRONTATIONS: SAFETY PRECAUTIONS (WR/BW CAROLYN)

NOTE: If clicking on the titles does not work for you, go directly to the site: and click on the folder listed with each article, and scroll to the post.

Submissions can be sent to the Beanery Online Literary Magazine through email: beaneryblog@yahoo.comwith the word “SUBMISSION” in the subject line.

The online magazine is sponsored by the Beanery Writers Group, which meets in Latrobe the 2nd and 4th Fridays at the Coffee Bean Café meeting room, Rt. 30, Latrobe (across from the outdoor movie theater). Membership is open, including on-site and online membership, and multi-genre.

AVAILABLE: Beanery Writers booklet, A Commemoration of Ligonier’s 250th Anniversary, which contains ten Ligoier Valley writings by group members. Priced at $3.75, it’s available from the Second Chapter Bookstore, group members, through E-mail or by contacing the group facilitator, Carolyn C. Holland, 724/238-3493

Ligonier Valley Learning Center

There's so much on their web site that you really need to GO THERE to absorb it all. Here's a blurb:

TYPE OF SERVICE: Therapeutic Staff Support Services (TSS)

TSS services are supportive, time-limited, one-to-one planned behavioral health interventions directed by a detailed treatment plan. TSS services are to be used for children/adolescents who have been diagnosed with serious emotional disturbance, for whom it is determined that use of professional services alone (e.g. outpatient psychotherapy, Mobile Therapy, or family based rehabilitation services) is insufficient to meet established needs. TSS services are to be used when these other resources and services are documented within the psychological or psychiatric evaluation as insufficient or inadequate to meet the needs of the child/adolescent presents social, emotional, or behavioral issues that result in impairment that substantially interferes with or limits the child/adolescent's role or functioning in family, school, or community activities. The services may be provided in a variety of settings, including the child/adolescent's own home, day care center, school, adoptive or foster home, including a group home, and non-secure juvenile justice placement.

The TSS worker assists in the implementation of planned one-to-one interventions, and planned interventions involving the child/adolescent and family jointly, as designated on the treatment plan. These services are not intended to assist children/adolescents and their families in dealing with the normal and expected behaviors related to the child/adolescent's stage of growth and development.

PlainMama visited Ligonier and took these great shots.

We finished the day eating at one of our favorite restaurants, The Ligonier Tavern. It could not have been any better. OK, if they would have had their incredible 7 layer Loyalhanna cheesecake it would have been better. I just kept thinking of all the calories they saved me. Read more....

Good morning, Ligonier! I can see that light dusting of snow....pretty....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I challenge you all

My challenge for our community is for each person to do something for someone else....whatever that might be. Take care of our own :-D If anyone wants to share that'd be great, otherwise go the anonymous route and feel fulfilled and renewed in yourself. 

A haunting John Prine Song, but we can all make a difference in someone's life!

Monday, October 27, 2008

just a thought :) helping each other in our community

Just a friendly reminder, this sunday at church our preacher reminded me of how we often forget about our own people like in town at this time of year.  We look to help others when we have our own in need. Please think about those that might need a hand or help, especially during winter. Maybe there's an elderly person that needs oil to keep warm. I would love to open up my email to those that want or need help.  I can gladly put you in contact with people to help or easily try my best to help you myself.  I have always been a firm believer in helping those around me first and then helping the rest of the world (please do not take that the wrong way). I want all or our Ligonier residents taken care of and provided for. Please contact me via here or my other blog. Shoot an email to me or whatever. I hope that we can make this grow and show our acts of kindness to each other. I also think its a great idea to share things that we all have. If a neighbor has something you need try to share it and vice versa. This may sound mundane, but I think with the economy and people struggling we need to think of ways to get by better and help out. :)  I know we can because the people in this town care and we are a close knit community. 

poetry reading and open mike


November 1, 2008

1:00-3:00 p.m.

Ligonier Valley Library basement

(on the Ligonier (PA) diamond)

Contact: Carolyn C. Holland at 724/238-3493 or

1:00-2:00 Readings by and of Beanery Writers Group Members

2:00-3:00 Open Mike---bring a 5-8 minute reading to share

Music by Diane Cipa and Marianne McAuliffe

Snacks and Book/Literature table

(local writers: bring a copy of your published books to publicize)

AVAILABLE: Beanery Writers Booklet: A Commemoration of Ligonier’s 250th Anniversery, writings on Ligonier Valley by members of the Beanery Writers Group


Good afternoon, Ligonier! No snow yet, maybe tomorrow?

There once was a young lad from Rhone
whose odor he'd rather disown
now he's taming his poo
by anointing the loo
and now happily sits on his throne!

You've got to stop in at The Paper House on West Main near the Diamond to see Poo-Pourri for yourself. Poo-prietor, Kelly, has a new scent in for the holidays----heavenSCENT.

A blend of Natural Essential Oils create a barrier to embarrassing bathroom odors.

The holly tree next to Jackie's House is bursting with berries!

The tree, in Pondstone Park, is taller than the old Ligonier Hardware building. Wonder how old it is.

Oh, the memories....

You wouldn't believe
On All Hallow Eve
What lots of fun we can make,
With apples to bob,
And nuts on the hob,
And a ring-and-thimble cake.
~Carolyn Wells

you decide. you vote.

Good morning, Ligonier!

Hey, if you see Carol or Dave, ask them...

what happened to their nice new web site.    This looks suspiciously like it went into the Laurel Web black hole.  

Ligonier Yankee.......which bar & restaurant, anyone know?

1917 - Former Yankees Closer Joe “Fireman” Page (1944-50) was born. The Yankees signed Joe as an amateur free agent in 1940. Joe Page was the Yankees bullpen closer from 1944-1950. He finished his Yankees career with a 57-49 record in 278 games with 76 saves. He led the AL in saves in 1947 with 17 along with 14 wins, again in 1949 with 27 saves and 13 wins. Joe appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees, going 2-1 with 2 saves. Joe was named to the AL All Star team in 1944, and in 1947-48. In 1949, Joe won the Babe Ruth Award for his performance in the World Series against the Dodgers. On May 16, 1951, the Yankees released Joe. Joe passed away on April 21, 1980, at the age of 63. Before his death, he ran a hotel-bar in Ligonier, Pa.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

convicted....Dennis Lee Davis, Boswell, guilty

Upon hearing the verdict, the woman sobbed in her friend's arms, while surrounded by a large group of supporters. Davis looked surprised at the decision, made Friday at the conclusion of a two-day trial in the Somerset County Court of Common Pleas.

“The victim of this crime is one of the most courageous women I have encountered in my 27 years as a defense attorney and a prosecuting attorney,” said Assistant District Attorney Carolann Young after the verdict was read and the jury was dismissed. “She has made it possible to protect the women of Somerset County from Mr. Davis for the rest of his natural life.”   Read more....

Thanks to Ligonier Living reader, Davd Grimm for the heads up on this story:

I'm somewhat surprised that the Trib didn't provide any coverage of these trials. They printed several articles after the attack occurred in Ligonier Township.

Do you like blue grass and gospel music? Valley Players of Ligonier present......

Align CenterSmoke on The Mountain takes place in 1938 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, North Carolina. The play presents a Saturday Night Gospel Sing featuring the Sanders Family in their first night back on the gospel circuit in five years. The play uses a cast of seven with the audience being the congregation.  

Musical: October 31, Nov 1, 7 & 8 at 8 PM and November 9 at 2:30 PM

Tickets $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, $7 Students

SPECIAL NOTE:  I hear folks who go to the opening performance will be treated to a special blue grass jam after the regular show!

not too late 6pm to 8pm tonight SPOOKY STORIES at the Compass Inn

Feel free to opine on the color....

I was trying to make this place look a bit more Halloween-like but I find restrictions in the color palatte are limiting,'s more of an autumn look.  Do you like it or is it too hard on the eyes?

Marianne's back in town and we'll be doing a few tunes at the Library on Saturday.

Carolyn Holland of the BEANERYWRITERS has asked us to play some tunes before and during breaks while they present poetry and prose readings.  I'm really looking forward to a relaxing afternoon hearing local writers present their material.

Carolyn says the mike will be open for portions of the day so if you are a writer or simply enjoy reading, bring a piece or two along.  I'll bring a poem or two written by my niece, Reb Livingston, and I do hope Marianne will do a bit of Native American storytelling.

Carolyn will have an announcement out soon but I'm pretty sure it will run from 1pm to 5pm so stop in when you're in town.  We'd love to see you, this Saturday at the Ligonier Valley Library.

Liggy has a new pic....Beauty!

Let's welcome "cookielady" as a new contributor.

She's a Ligonier lover and we'd like to make her feel right at home.  Ligonier is a feeling as well as a place to live.  So, give us some of the cookie baking Ligonier free expression of thought, lady.  Welcome!

Here's what our cookielady says of herself:

I started this blog as a creative way to express my passions of cookies, family, friends, contemporary folk music, farmhouses gardening and cottage living. I am a Registered nurse and having worked at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh ICU for 18 years I wanted a break from that stress and so began my quest to start a "cookie business" Beginning from our home, my husband, my sister & I began the company with chocolate chip cookies baked from scratch on a small Hobart 20 qt mixer. My husband & I raised 2 wonderful daughters who both worked in the business as children. Today we operate from a 2000 sq ft commercial location outside of PIttsburgh PA in Plum Boro.

Good morning, Ligonier! [Well, still morning by a witches nose.]

Did Bill Gates buy a summer home in Ligonier?

Caught my eye, too.  LOL   It's still an interesting article.  Who could it be?

There are roughly 2,000 people working in that field in Westmoreland County. If everyone's average wage rose by $4,760 a week, there was an aggregate weekly wage increase of $9.5 million, year over year.

"There was definitely a lot of companies that paid out bonuses, but one in particular" caused the enormous jump in weekly wages across the country, Ms. Nimal said, adding that some bonuses were in excess of $1 million.

But which company is the one doling out the big bonuses?

That remains a secret for now, for privacy reasons -- the quarterly census of employment and wages is an anonymous report.

Read more.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bed & Breakfast and WHAT A GREAT GARDEN!

The Colonial House...on Main

Autumn/Winter Relaxation Package

Package Includes
One Evening Stay in a Queen Bedroom
including a Full Breakfast
(early check-in 12:00 noon, late check-out 2:00 PM)

One Hour In-House Private Massage 
(or two 1/2 hour massages)

Box of Chocolate

Bottle of Sparkling Cider
Champagne by request 
for additional charge

Fresh Flower Arrangement

Full Seasonal Breakfast

Package Rate $210 + tax 
(double occupancy)

Pamper Yourself a little more with 
any or all of these extras:

 Add an additional night stay to your package for our 
weekday rate of only $75

 Wine, Cheese and Bread Platter for 2

Specialty flowers and or balloons

 Add an extra hour to your massage

Champagne Breakfast

...extras available only with the package purchase.
Check prices with innkeeper when you make your reservation.
231 West 
Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658

Note to self.....

.....Some rainy day, go into the Ligonier Valley Library, visit the Pennsylvania Room and find photos of everyone you know in Ligonier and all their old wacky hairdos from high school.  Gotta get that stuff on the blog!  LOL

Year books: Ligonier High School: 1925-1969; Ligonier Valley High School: 1970-1999. 
We are missing the following years: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1988,  1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Donations for these years would be greatly appreciated. We also have a few Laurel Valley High School yearbooks from the 1970s.

[Just to be fair, here's a 1971 or 1972 pic of my sisters, Claire and Kathy and me.  heh heh]

DEATH IN THE STACKS........whoa!

The Ligonier Valley Library Murder Mahem & Mystery group has switched gears, changed their name and gone to an on-line forum using Shelfari.

Death in the Stacks is for lovers of mysteries and thrillers to share their thoughts on their favorite (or least favorite) books.

P. S.  Fair warning to all book lovers - Shelfari is addicting.  I had to wean myself off of it.  ;)  Soooo...don't say I didn't warn ya!

Hey, Candle Queen Missy checked in with a new item.

Missy loves to make gift baskets for all sorts of functions.  Fundraisers love them for raffles because they always sell lots of tickets.  You can reach Missy at

notes on the hunt....

Team Keslar took 6 hunters to western Alaska for a combo hunt. The hunters were Monte MCcfadden,Dennis Marcelli,Armour Mellon,Don and Dave Francois, and myself Jack Keslar. We were after Caribou primarily, but that proved difficult. So we started to see bears, grizzlies, and black bears everywhere. Read more...