Ligonier Valley Historical Society was founded in 1964 to discover, collect, preserve, and disseminate any material, which helps establish or illustrate the exploration, settlement, development, and general history of the Ligonier Valley area . . . . and, to demonstrate a living history through the operation of Compass Inn Museum.
Built in 1799, Compass Inn served as an important stagecoach stop until 1862. While George Washington never stayed at Compass Inn, according to the National Registry of Historic Places documentation, other noteworthy folks such as Henry Clay, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, and President-elect Zachary Tyler were among the visitors.
LVHS also maintains 7 historic cemeteries where veterans of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are buried, and the 1848 Laurel Hill Iron Furnace near New Florence. Both Compass Inn Museum and Laurel Hill Iron Furnace are on the National Register of Historic Places. The headquarters of the Society is located in the Hall House, next door to the museum. In the Hall House, there is an archive and collections room, where historic papers, photographs, and other physical artifacts that record and demonstrate Ligonier Valley's history are preserved along with a small historical library and oral history collection.
Historic Compass Inn Museum is an authentically restored stagecoach stop, located in the heart of the beautiful Laurel Highlands. Compass Inn Museum is constructed of hand-hewn logs and stone and features an extensive collection of period pieces that transports you back in time.
Walk in the footsteps of Innkeepers Robert and Rachel Armor and their guests, as you are guided period-dressed docent. History will come alive as they tell you entertaining and informative stories of transportation and life during the early 1800s. The 90-minute experience includes the historic inn and tavern, a reconstructed cookhouse containing an authentic functioning beehive oven and hearth, a blacksmith shop with a working forge, and a barn that houses an 1830s-style eastern stagecoach, and an authentic Conestoga wagon, complete with a six-horse bell hitch.