The 2016 Noble County Community Guide is provided by the News-Sun.
HISTORY: The City of Ligonier, the second largest community in Noble County, was founded in 1835 by Isaac Cavin, who built a settlement along the banks of the Elkhart River, in an area known as Strawberry Valley. He named the town after his hometown of Ligonier, Pa. The town experienced slow growth until the railroad was constructed in 1852. At about the same time, Solomon Mier and Jacob Strauss, two Jewish immigrants, settled in the area and other Jewish people began to follow. Between 1852 and 1866 the town’s population grew from 50 to 1,100. In 1952, a group of local businessmen formed an industrial development committee, and began transforming Ligonier into an industrial city. Today, the city boasts a large industrial park, with several large employers. In January 2013, most city offices were moved to the Ligonier City Hall building on South Cavin St.
POPULATION: 4,393, according to the 2014 U.S. Census estimate.
ACCESS: Ligonier is at the crossroads of S.R. 5, U.S. 6 and U.S. 33.
GOVERNMENT: The city has a full-time mayor with a five-member City Council, which meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7pm at Ligonier City Hall on the second floor, 301 South Cavin St. The Board of Public Works meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 1:30pm in the council chambers. The mayor’s office is in the new City Hall on South Cavin St., 894-4113. The mayor is Patty Fisel. City Council members are the Ken Schuman, Chris Fought, Becky Gray, Julie Bell and Kelly Ware. The city attorney, appointed by the mayor, is Steve Hagen. Earle Franklin is the building inspector and zoning administrator. Mike Alexander of the Ligonier Police Department is the code-enforcement officer.
Jeff Boyle is superintendent of the Water Department, Don Skinner is facility manager at the wastewater treatment plant, Alan Duncan is Parks and Recreation Department director and Mike Burdette is street commissioner.
UTILITIES: Sewer and water is provided by the city, and trash pickup is contracted by the city. Ligonier’s police department is supplemented by an active reserve police unit. Firefighters are aided by several volunteer firefighters.
EDUCATION: Students attend West Noble School Corp. Elementary students attend either West Noble Primary or West Noble Elementary. Middle and high school students attend the West Noble campus three miles south of Ligonier.
RECREATION: Ligonier has many parks, the largest of which is Kenney Park on West Union Street. The Ligonier Sports and Recreation Center in Kenney Park, 520 W. Union St., has basketball courts, volleyball courts, a weight room, sauna, hot tub, exercise eqipment and full locker room facilities. A community room is available for meetings and the center can be rented.
In 1993, the Jennie Thompson Garden, a scenic walkway in a garden setting, was added to the park. Pettit Park opened in 2012 on SR 5 and has had many improvements added including a pavilion and picnic area.
This one-mile Elkhart Riverwalk along the bank of the Elkhart River features scenic views. Excellent photo opportunities exist next to either of the trwo aluminum pedestrian bridges that were installed in the summer of 2010. The best point of access is near Woodlawn Park, just off of Bridge St. as you enter the industrial park. Visitors may park in the parking lot behind the former Royal Imprints building.
FESTIVALS: The Ligonier Marshmallow Festival is held each Labor Day weekend. A strawberry-themed festival is held the third weekend in June each year. The Stone’s Trace Pioneer Crafts Festival is a popular festival held the weekend after Labor Day at the Stone’s Trace grounds, three miles south of the city. In October, Fashion Farm hosts the month-long Pumpkin Fantasyland, a unique attraction started by the late Charlie Williams and now run by his children and grandchildren.
POLICE: City Hall, Station Street, 894-4111 or 894-4112. (Emergencies: 911). The police chief and director of public safety is Bryan Shearer.
FIRE: 103 W. Third St., 894-3124 (emergencies: 911). Fire Chief: Jeremy Weaver.
CLERK-TREASURER: Barb Hawn, City Hall, 301 South Cavin St., 894-4113.
LIBRARY: Ligonier Public Library is located at 300 S. Main St. The phone number is 894-4511. The library is open from 10:30am-6:30pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am-1:00pm Saturday. Jerry Nesbitt is the director of the library.
POST OFFICE: 201 S. Main St., 894-3021. Postmaster is Christina Tevis. Lobby hours are 7:am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, and 7:00am-noon Saturday. Window hours are 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday, and 8:30am-11:00am Saturday.