FROM LIGONIER TO LIGONIER: Part I
The Lincoln Highway ribbons coast to coast
from Times Square to the Golden Gate—
along the way it connects Ligonier to Ligonier.
March 1, 2011—Tuesday.
I arranged my notepad, pen, and camera before I approached a family standing on a corner waiting for the light to change.
“I’m doing a survey,” I said to them. “How do you like living in Ligonier?”
“Ligonier is a great place to stay now that they are getting it cleaned up,” said Johnetta, the older of the two women. “I lived here before for nineteen years.”
“I just moved back,” said Sarana Young, the second woman. “My family is here.”
I asked them if I could photograph them, and used my trigger finger when they agreed.
Just then my husband came up to tell me that the red brick building on the next block was the police station.
“That might be an interesting place to continue my survey,” I said as I walked to the structure’s steps and Monte returned to the car.
Inside a young woman was standing in front of a glass window with no one behind it. Assuming the attendant was searching for something for her, and I approached her.
“I’m doing a survey,” I said. “Would you mind answering a question for me?”
She looked at me rather suspiciously, a little bit puzzled, but tentatively agreed.
“How do you like living in Ligonier?”
“I’ve lived here since 2000. I like it. It’s small and quiet.”
From the corner of my eye I noticed a grim-faced police officer enter the room. I briefly considered that I could be in trouble for soliciting in the police station, even though it was only for a survey.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
“I’m just asking people how they like living in Ligonier,” I stated firmly. “How do you like living here?”
“I don’t live here, but…it’s an okay town.”
“Have you seen the latest Ligonier newspaper?” I asked, wondering at my boldness.
“You might want to see it,” I said, handing him my copy of the Ligonier Echo.
He looked at the front page.
“It’s not the tax article,” he said, his eyes scanning the other articles. I waited a moment before pointing out the newspaper masthead.
He looked puzzled.
“This is the Ligonier Pennsylvania newspaper,” I explained. “My husband and I live near Ligonier—Pennsylvania, that is,” I explained.
I asked if I could take a photo of the logo on his uniform arm. As I did so, I noticed his name: Officer Alexander.
A VISIT WITH THE LIGONIER MAYOR
Officer Alexander suggested I visit the mayor’s office, a couple of blocks that way, before saying “I’ll walk you over.”
As we exited the police station I motioned to Monte to follow us.
We went into another brick building, where Officer Alexander led us directly to the mayor’s office and introduced me to Mayor Patty Fisal.
“How do you like living in Ligonier?” I queried.
“How much time do you have?…There isn’t any place else on earth I’d rather be. It’s my hometown. I was born and raised here. It is most progressive.”
She spoke about the former Strawberry Days celebration and the former marshmallow company.
“Kidds Marshmallows, in fact, was here. It moved out about fifteen years ago.”
When I asked her if she’d read the latest Ligonier newspaper she pulled a copy from the bottom of a pile on her desk. She’s right on top of things, I thought as I handed her my copy of the Ligonier Echo. Pix 197E
“Ligonier Pennsylvania!” she said, catching immediately. “Someone was here yesterday asking about Ligonier, Pennsylvania.”
Mayor Fisal said a former mayor, Dr. Floyd Warner, instituted a sister city connection between the two towns, which are four hundred miles apart.** Currently, the connection isn’t functioning.
CAVIN FOUNDS LIGONIER, INDIANA
She said the city of Ligonier, Indiana, was founded in 1835 by Isaac Cavin, who named the community after his hometown, Ligonier, Pennsylvania. He built a settlement along the banks of the Elkhart River in an area known as Strawberry Valley.*
About four years ago some of Cavin’s descendants visited the city, which held a reception for them.
“We must reconnect to Ligonier again,” said Mayor Fisal.
NOTE: While returning to Ligonier, Pennsylvania, following our visit to Chicago last year, my husband and I suffered from a severe flu bug with effects that lasted, for me, seven weeks. Many of the posts, including this one, that I intended to write and post, were left for a future time. It was March 1, 2011, when we stopped in Ligonier, Indiana.
To read FROM LIGONIER TO LIGONIER: Part II click on ( https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/from-ligonier-to-ligonier-part-ii/ )