I was delighted with a recent stay in the Thistledown at Seger House, a renovated 103-year-old Victorian mansion that is now a luxurious boutique hotel in Ligonier.
Like this gorgeous mansion, Ligonier itself is one of those timeless American towns that get portrayed as such in movies — it’s the place everyone wants to live in or at least, visit for a while.
Nestled in the valley at the base of the Laurel Highlands, the town is true small-town America. It’s also a tourist destination because of Fort Ligonier, a fully-restored encampment from the French and Indian War. We made it our base for several days of sight-seeing and hiking in the Laurel Highlands.
Because it’s a boutique hotel and not a bed-and-breakfast, you’re on your own to find your breakfast. But first, you can get some caffeine to go — there’s a 24-hour coffee and tea available for guests.
In warmer months on Saturday mornings, an amazing flea market takes place, within walking distance of the mansion — just turn left out of the front doors and head down the street… you won’t miss it!
Did I mention the donuts?
And when it’s not warm and not Saturday morning, turn right out of the front door and walk the couple blocks to the Diamond, Ligonier’s beautiful town square, where many quaint shops await in addition to various restaurants and pubs.
Coal baron John Seger, having amassed a fortune in the lumber and mining business, started building his mansion for himself and his three children in 1915; it was completed in 1918. The mansion stayed within his family until 1944. At that time, it was sold to the Allegheny County Sisters of Mercy as a hospital. Eventually it was acquired by Excela Health for use as a surgical center.
My favorite hang out spot while enjoying my first cups of coffee to start each day!
Almost a hundred years after it was built, current owners Michelle and Adam Gardner bought the old mansion and renovated it into the elegant boutique hotel it is today. Thistledown at Seger House features the original stained glass and intricately carved woodwork of the time, as well as eight elegantly appointed rooms with private bathrooms.
Downstairs, you can sample a flight of wine, courtesy of Bee Kind Winery, a winery out of Clearfield County. We enjoyed it so much we bought a bottle to enjoy while we were staying there, as well as a couple of bottles to bring home.
In fact, we purchased dessert at The Pie Shoppe in nearby Laughlintown to enjoy after strolling back from dinner in Ligonier. Black raspberry pie for me; apple strudel pie for my friend. For dinner, we can recommend the Kitchen on Main (but be sure to make reservations).
Also for dessert, we LOVED the Peace Love and Peanut Butter Fudge ice-cream from the Ligonier Creamery, so leave room in your schedule and tummy for that!