Fort Ligonier bakes up historical happy hour |
Art & Museums

Fort Ligonier bakes up historical happy hour

Mary Pickels
Kim Stepinsky | For the Tribune-Review
(From left) Scott Dolinich of Ligonier receives a sample of rum punch, from Erica Nuckles, Fort Ligonier director of history and collections, during an earlier History Happy Hour at the fort.
Courtesy of Fort Ligonier
Connections Cafe owner Sharon Detar prepares to bake pizza in a Fort Ligonier reproduction historical field oven during an earlier History Happy Hour.
Courtesy of Fort Ligonier
Piping hot pizza slides out of a reproduction historical field oven at Fort Ligonier during an earlier History Happy Hour.

Fort Ligonier will light a fire under its upcoming History Happy Hour.

One of its reproduction historical field ovens will be lit for the event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 23. Patrons can line up for Connections Café’s crusty artisan pizzas as they pop out of the clay oven.

Joe Golden and Pat Petrarca will fill the air throughout the lower fort with live Americana music, while history and collections director Erica Nuckles offers samples of an 18th-century rum punch recipe.

“Each August, our History Happy Hour is always Connections Café firing up our oven. They are famous for their grilled pizzas, but we bake them in our oven. All day long, staff has a fire going to get the oven super hot,” says Julie Donovan, fort spokeswoman.

Donovan jokes that Fort Ligonier soldiers were far ahead of the current trend of homeowners installing ovens — though for pizza, not bread — in their outdoor living spaces.

The ovens are replicas of those that would have been at the Loyalhanna Encampment (later Fort Ligonier) during the Forbes Campaign, Donovan says. They would have been in continuous use baking bread from the soldiers’ flour rations.

According to Fort Ligonier history, the Army paid the fort baker 5 pence and the actual cost of the bread. By 1765, the actual price of a 6-pound loaf of bread was 7 pence, making the transaction a good one for the soldier.

Cost is $20.

Walk-ins welcome, RSVPs appreciated.

Details: 724-238-9701 or

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: AandE | Museums | Food Drink
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