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Compass Inn concludes holiday candlelight tours

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Cami DiBattista | for the Ligonier Echo
Members of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society, Glenda Dickson and Joan Ardisson, decorate the Compass Inn Museum for the holidays. Candlelight tours of the former stage coach stop are offered weekends in December.
By Cami Dibattista
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

This is the last weekend the Compass Inn Museum in Laughlintown will be aglow with the light of nearly 100 candles.

Tours of the former stagecoach stop are being offered to the public 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Guides dressed in period costumes will share stories of holiday traditions and historic happenings with the public.

“The history of bringing pine and trees into houses is thought be derived from German and Scandinavian traditions,” said Roberta Smith, program coordinator for the inn.

“Decorating with pine in the winter was thought to bring luck and an early spring.”

Festively decorated for the winter holidays, the former stagecoach stop will feature the traditional decorations of the time such as pine, holly, thistles, berries and feathers.

“Decorating in the 19th century was minimal,” Smith said. “People were generally more concerned with preparations to survive the winter.”

Visitors learn about holiday celebrations such as the English tradition of burning a Yule log.

“Immigrants to the Americas brought many traditions with them,” said Smith.

Visitors tour the blacksmith shop and the cookhouse outside of the museum and enjoy cookies and hot mulled cider around a crackling fire in the inn's 1862 addition.

“I've learned so many fascinating things here — such as where certain sayings and terms came from,” said Glenda Dickson, Ligonier Valley Historical Society member. “It's really interesting. We have so much history right here in our own backyard.”

Cost for the tour is $9 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $6 for children ages 6-17. Reservations can be made by calling 724-238-6818 or 724-238-4983. Walk-ins are welcome as space allows.

“There's a wealth of history in this area,” said volunteer and Ligonier Valley Historical Society member, Joan Ardisson. “We value tradition and we do what we can do preserve it.”

Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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