Fort Ligonier: A Glimpse into the Past of the Laurel Highlands
The Laurel Highlands offers a well-balanced combination of culture, adventure, and nature. Our area also maintains a deep connection with its historical significance, and you’ll find a variety of sites memorializing the past. Perhaps one of the most well-known locations is Fort Ligonier. This 8-acre fort has been meticulously preserved, displays 18th-century military memorabilia, and once served as a pivotal battle ground in the French and Indian War. Whether you’ve toured this place before or it’ll be your first time visiting, bring your camera and get ready for a wonderful addition to your getaway to Oak Lodge!
Fort Ligonier Facts & Everything You Need to Know
Plan to Tour
Fort Ligonier admission varies by season. It is currently closed for the winter season and will reopen in early April due to renovations. However, you may experience the history of this site by touring the Fort Ligonier Center for History Education. With that in mind, it’s not too early to begin planning your trip to this beloved attraction. The Fort Ligonier price ranges by age:
- Adults | $10
- Children (6-16) | $6
- Children (5 & under) | free
If you’re planning a visit and begin to feel overwhelmed, take advantage of free Oak Lodge’s trip planning service. In combination with your stay, Matt and Robyn (our innkeepers) will help you make the most of your time to the Laurel Highlands. Whether you’re visiting for a romantic getaway, corporate retreat, or just looking to relax, they’ll tailor your itinerary to your specific needs!
What’s the History
Why “Fort Ligonier?” A seemingly odd name, this historic site was designed to memorialize successful military leaders. Secretary of State William Pitt, attributing the name of Pittsburgh to a city, did so by honoring Sir John Ligonier. As Pitt’s superior and commander-in-chief in Great Britain, it seemed fitting to commemorate this place to him.
The site is located on the Loyalhanna Creek and was formerly occupied by the Forbes Expedition, a British military expedition spearheaded by Brigadier-General John Forbes. During the French and Indian war, the Fort Ligonier Battle provided to be one of monumental feats. On October 12, 1758, the British forces and allies successfully stopped the advancement of the French and Indian Armies.
The Center for Education
Newly renovated and opened in 2017, the Fort Ligonier Center for History Education provides an in-depth look into the complexity of our area’s past. This grand museum proudly boasts a selection of 18th-century items on exhibits including:
- The General Washington Collection
- The Hermitage
- The History Gallery
- The World Ablaze: An Introduction to the Seven Years’ War
- The French and Indian War Art Gallery
Also known as the Fort Ligonier Gift Shop, the Museum Store offers a great selection of wonderful merchandise for sale. Whether you’re buying something to remember your time or buying a souvenir for the history lover in your life, you’re sure to find something enchanting to purchase!
Annual Events to Enjoy
One of the most popular Laurel Highlands events is Fort Ligonier Days. Held annually every October at the site, you’ll find over 200 artisans selling their crafts; live entertainment filling the air; and the famous Fort Ligonier reenactment. Combined, these elements and much more create the experience each year. Get your tickets today!