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Recreational site plan OK'd by Ligonier Township planners

Renatta Signorini
| Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 12:08 p.m.

A Ligonier Township property with history could be getting a new use.

The township planning commission on Tuesday approved a site plan for a recreational area to be run by the Ligoner Camp & Conference Center. The preliminary approval could mean new life for an old ice-making operation run by Consolidated Ice Co. a century ago.

Patrick Myers, director of the center, said the new site will be used recreationally during daylight hours roughly between May and September. The 57-acre site at the intersection of Route 30 and Two Mile Run Road will be an auxiliary site in addition to the center along Route 711, he said.

A few old structures will remain on the property -- a barn, an icehouse and a pool house.

"We're hoping that there'll be some type of grant" or other funding to preserve one or more of the original buildings, Myers said.

Ligonier Camp & Conference Center is a Christian outdoor camp and retreat.

A few old buildings on the property will be razed, and a pavilion, dock and two parking areas will be installed. Campers as well as community members will be permitted to use the site, he said.

Ice skating on the old pond is possible, Myers said, but must be investigated.

"It's not out of the question that that would be something fun for the community," he said.

Commission board members Bob Smithley, Mark Spitzer and Scott Matson voted to recommend the site plan for final approval by township supervisors. Chairman Dan Weimer abstained, noting that he is employed by the engineering firm that created the site plans.

The property is zoned as R-2, which allows for parks and recreational use, zoning officer Cindy Turley said.

Ice harvesting began in America as a means for colonists to have ice through hot summers, according to a 2006 Tribune-Review article. Consolidated Ice Co. dug the pond in the late 1800s and used water from Two Mile Run.

Once the water froze, ice would be harvested with the help of horses and stored in an ice house, the article said.

In more recent years, the property was the home of Lady of the Lake bed and breakfast.

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