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Compass Inn Museum News

Recent News

37th Annual Festival of Lights and Toast to the Trees Gala

Toast to the Trees Gala Auction Items

Holiday Candlelight Tours

Harvest Candlelight Tours

Live Love Ligonier Compass Inn Museum

Field Trip Information

Call for Volunteers

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 37th Annual Festival of Lights and Toast to the Trees Gala

Join Ligonier Valley Historical Society in a Christmas extravaganza like no other. Guaranteed to properly kick start your holiday season, the Festival of Lights: The Art of Christmas . . . Trees, Wreaths and Other Treasures, is perfect for any age! Visit our dazzling show, December 7 through 10, from 9 am - 5 pm daily. Now in its 37th year, Festival of Lights is a magical holiday event that is sure to delight and awe all who walk through the door! 

This magnificent display of artfully decorated trees and stunning creations transforms the Ligonier Town Hall Community Room into a Christmas wonderland. Be sure to stop in and explore the indoor forest of creatively decorated trees while enjoying a holiday beverage and a tasty bite.

The Toast to the Trees Gala and Auction held Friday, December 6th, beginning at 6:30 pm kicks off the Festival with a yule-tide evening of glittering light and wintertime wonder.

During the gala, participants will be able to bid on and possibly win a piece of the fabulous holiday creations displayed during the Festival of Lights. This memorable evening will feature hearty, gourmet hors d'oeuvres and a special holiday libation served by our guest bartender, the famous Ron McDowell of the Road Toad.

The evening also includes a silent auction with a wondrous array of amazing items to spoil yourself and your loved ones. Tickets are $55 for Ligonier Valley Historical Society members and $60 for non-members. Please make advanced reservations for Toast to the Trees by calling 724-238-6818 or tgrohall@compassinn.org.

 Toast to the Trees Gala Auction Items


Seven Springs Mountain Resort's Trillium Spa is a sanctuary, ideal for first-time or veteran spa-goers. Trillium Spa, located behind the main hotel, is the perfect place to escape the stress and commotion of everyday life and relax, unwind and renew. You'll enjoy a couples' spa experience in the Trillium Spa Couples Suite which features side by side hydrotherapy soaking tubs, fireplace, in-room shower and cozy massage tables. It will be a special treat for that special someone.

A second bonus in this auction item is a tour and lunch for two at Polymath Park located near Acme. The genius of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright can be appreciated with a tour of the Wright houses, which have been brought from other locations and rebuilt at Polymath Park. You'll take part in a tour of three of the houses where you will learn about the history of the park and learn all about Wright's principles behind the architecture. Then you will dine at the on-site TreeTop Restaurant, which boasts that it offers, "dining enriched with nature." The tours are offered March through December. The park is closed Wednesdays and select holidays.

Valued at $500


Enjoy a perfect mountain escape from the everyday distractions of life with an overnight stay for two in one of the 13 cabins at Oak Lodge, an 800-acre Laurel Highlands bed and breakfast located in Stahlstown. The moment you arrive at Oak Lodge you will experience luxurious comfort and top of the line amenities. You'll be welcome to use the hot tub, pool and hiking trails, and notice the lodge's attractive accents of rustic wood and stone in this beautiful natural setting. Breakfast is included with your overnight stay. Get ready for a romantic retreat.

Valued at $265


With winter upon us, it's time to think of sunny beaches and what would be better than staying at a luxurious ocean-front condominium at Myrtle Beach, S.C. This relaxing one-week vacation, offered May 30-June 6, 2020 by a friend of the festival, provides accommodations at an exceptional five-star property located in one of Myrtle Beach's finest buildings, Maisons-sur-Mer.

This two-bedroom, two-bath condo sleeps 6 and enjoys panoramic views of the ocean, beach and Myrtle Beach coastline from virtually every room of this tenth floor property. You'll enjoy your breakfast or morning coffee on one of two wrap- around balconies, and you'll be able to prepare meals in the completely equipped full-size kitchen. Amenities include a king-sized bed in the master bedroom suite, three- flat screen TVs, DVD player, WI-FI, washer/dryer, a jacuzzi tub in the guest bedroom and two extra-long twin beds that can be split or made into a king-sized bed. Property amenities include an Olympic-sized oceanfront pool, kiddie pool, large sundeck, pool bar, two tennis courts, 24-hour security with controlled access, game room, golf practice area, private oceanfront lounge, restaurant (open for breakfast and lunch in season), library, card room, billiard room, media room, barbecue area, beach shower and private keyed beach access. Our response to this offering? - WOW.

(A security deposit of $300 is required and the dates are not negotiable.)

Valued at $2,000


For flower lovers, there is no better place to be in the winter than Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. In this VIP package, you'll enjoy admission for four, a behind-the-scenes tour and a $100 gift voucher for your visit to this historic 14-room glasshouse with its 23 distinct gardens. You can choose for your one-hour tour, a conservatory tour, a production greenhouse tour or a tour of the Center for Sustainable Landscape. There is lots to learn here. You'll hear about all the innovations of Phipps, which features the first and only building to attain four of the highest green building certifications in the world. Complete your visit with a delicious meal at the award-winning Cafe Phipps. We offered this auction item before, and the group that won it said it was absolutely wonderful.

To make this package sweeter, the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra invites you and three quests to enjoy an evening, February 15, 2020 with 16-year-old piano virtuoso Maxim Lando performing French composer Camille Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto No 2. The work was written in Paris in the span of just three short weeks and remains one of his most popular concertos. The concert also includes Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite and concludes with Mozart's Symphony No. 40.

Valued at $220


What's more fun than a trip to Pittsburgh to listen to music, visit museums and take a river cruise sightseeing and marveling at the beautiful skyline of the city. This auction item provides four tickets to a River City Brass performance, two admissions to the Carnegie Science Center (the most visited museum in the city!), and two each to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Andy Warhol Museum, along with four passes for a Gateway Clipper cruise. In addition, this package includes two tickets to the Frick Museum's Katharine Hepburn Exhibit and lunch for two at The Cafe at the Frick. And to make this package even more exciting you will enjoy a one-year family membership to The Frick Pittsburgh Museum and Gardens. Enjoy.

Valued at $555


A wonderful addition to house and hearth is this richly handcrafted set of iron fireplace tools. This 3-piece set has been hand forged in Compass Inn Museum's Blacksmith Shop by Ed Appleby of Crafty Apple Forge. Besides a poker and shovel, the set also features a turkey wing broom. This will be a nice remembrance of Compass Inn for your family fireplace.

Valued at $180


Are you ready to get your hands dirty! This offering is a workshop at Main Exhibit Gallery and Art Center in Ligonier for six (3 couples or friends or family) to make a mug and dish using the clay slab method in a span of two to three hours. While the creations are drying, your party will be invited to snack on wine and snacks and then decorate these pieces with underglazes. After that, Main Exhibit will fire your creations in the gallery kiln, coat them with clear glaze, fire them again, and then call you when they are ready. To arrange for this workshop/party, you'll offer three dates sometime between January and March, and Main Gallery will let you know which fits the gallery schedule. So let your creative juices flow, you may be surprised at what you can create. (Valued at $300.)

This auction item also provides two tickets for admission to the popular Art on Tap events at the Westmoreland Museum of Art. These museum events feature special activities, "light bites," beverages and fun surprises, often with a special seasonal connection.

Valued at $365


For all of your holiday dining, consider this offering - go shopping at Hoffer Ligonier Valley Packings with your $150 gift certificate and select the servings and cuts of meats that will be the stars of your holiday dishes. This auction offering also provides cookbooks that can add brand new recipes to delight your family along with lots of extras condiments and sauces to make your dining special. And notice that this auction item also provides a gift basket from Four Seasons Brewing in Latrobe. Bon appetit and happy holidays!

Valued at $200+

 Holiday Candlelight Tours

Smoke lazily drifts from red brick chimneys. A fresh blanket of fluffy, white snow covers the worn rooftops. Sleighs glide through the streets, accompanied by hoof steps and jangling bells. Dim light from gas lanterns cuts through the darkness. The air is crisp and cold. The hearths, glowing red, provide much- needed warmth to weary travelers at the Compass Inn. The year is 1830. Robert and Rachel Armor, the proprietors of the establishment, gather their visitors in the main room, ready to celebrate another Christmas Eve. In the candlelight, amongst the holiday cheer, Rachel recites a new story. She begins, "'Twas the night before Christmas..."

Enjoy a special holiday treat in a charming, rustic setting. While touring the historic Compass Inn Museum, let the glow of candles and warm flickering fires transport you back to Robert and Rachel's time. A simpler time. The spirit of the Christmas season is reflected in the simple, yet charming decor, traditions and hospitality of days gone by. Upon conclusion of your tour, take a respite from all the hustle and bustle. Relax with us by the crackling fires. Sip a cup of hot mulled cider. Nibble on a tasty treat. All while that very famous story is recited.

November 30; December 1, 7, 8,1 4, & 15, from 3-7 pm.

$10 per adults (18-61) $9 per adults (62+) $6 for Children (6-17), Free for children 5 and under and active military. Walk-ins are welcome. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. The last tour begins at 6:30 pm.

 Harvest Candlelight Tours

Ligonier Valley Historical Society's Compass Inn Museum Hosts Harvest Candlelight Tours of the early 1800s stagecoach Inn Saturdays November 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 3-7 pm.

This November, celebrate another bountiful harvest with us at the historic Compass Inn Museum. Feel the warmth of the inn's rustic charm, while adorned with natural autumn accents, cheery glowing wood fires, and the flickering of candles in every room.

Throughout the cozy, candlelit tour, you will experience the difficult, but fulfilling life of the Armors. Along the way, you'll be guided through the 1820's cookhouse. Step back in time with Compass Inn Museum's masters of open hearth and beehive oven cookery. There, experience the sights and smells of scrumptious food being prepared, using recipes and ingredients inspired by the cuisine of the 18th and 19th-century. At the end of your tour, relax by the warm crackling fire glowing in the 1862 Room's Rumford fireplace.

Even before President Abraham Lincoln declared the 4th Thursday of November Thanksgiving in 1863, American celebrations of the holiday stretch back to the 17th century. A combination of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest and the Puritan religious traditions, Thanksgiving eventually developed into the family and community holiday that we know today.

Make your tour reservations today! Contact Amanda Seim at 724.238.4983 or email her at aseim@compassinn.org.

Standard tour prices apply, Ages 18-61 - $10; Ages 62+- $9; Ages 6-17 - $8; Ages 5 and younger and Active Military - Free. Free for Historical Society Members.

 Live Love Ligonier Compass Inn Museum
 Field Trip Information

We have worked to develop an engaging field trip for students that is not only aligned to the Pennsylvania State Standards, but also provides an opportunity for students to practice their critical thinking skills in a fun and welcoming environment.

Our field trips engage students with history through interaction with primary sources such as artifacts and buildings while providing real life connections to the past. Costumed docents lead age-appropriate guided tours of our 19th century Inn, blacksmith forge, cookhouse, and barn including a restored stagecoach and Contestoga Wagon. Through tours, students strengthen their visual literacy and critical thinking skills by careful observation of the historic environment. Students' experiences are enriched through multi sensory activities: cooking over an open fire, dipping candles creating a tin punch lantern, or smelling burning coal from our 19th century blacksmith forge. Several activity options include crafts students may take home with them.

For more information or to schedule your field trip today, contact Amanda Seim at 724-238-4983 or aseim@compassinn.org.

 Call for Volunteers

Do you love history and like talking to people? Do you enjoy working with kids? Become a volunteer at Ligonier Valley Historical Society's Compass Inn Museum. Compass Inn Museum is currently recruiting volunteers to help out with the 2019 season. Volunteer opportunities for the 2019 season include school tours, regular tours, and working in the gift shop.

For more information, contact Amanda Seim at 724-238-4983 or aseim@compassinn.org.

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