Historic Photography Show – Memories of Idlewild Park

The Ligonier Valley Library’s Pennsylvania Room will open its 18th annual Historic Photography Show with a reception from 6:00-7:30 pm on Tuesday, April 16.

This year’s exhibit will celebrate the history of Ligonier’s beloved amusement park, Idlewild and SoakZone. Idlewild has charmed people across Western Pennsylvania and beyond since its origins as a 19th century picnic grove for the Ligonier Valley Rail Road. The Historical Photography Show will show how the Mellon family’s scenic picnic grounds evolved into a traditional amusement park in the 20th century and how Idlewild continues to delight generations as an award-winning family attraction today. Established in 1878, Idlewild and SoakZone is recognized as the oldest operating amusement park in Pennsylvania and the third oldest in the United States

Local historian and author Jennifer Sopko will guest curate the Historic Photography Show, bringing together a fascinating collection of photographs and memorabilia discovered during the research for her 2018 book Idlewild: History and Memories of Pennsylvania’s Oldest Amusement Park. 

The show will take place in the Pennsylvania Room and Hallway and will continue through July 9. All programs associated with the show, including the opening reception, are free and open to the public. No registration required.

The mission of the Historical Photography Show is to present a facet of Ligonier Valley history that is interesting, educational and may have been overlooked in the past. The photographs and documents copied become a permanent part of the Pennsylvania Room collection, an invaluable resource for researchers.

If you have photographs, documents and/or memorabilia to share with this exhibit, please call the library at 724-38-6451 or stop by the Pennsylvania Room, located on the lower floor. The Room is generally open Tuesday-Saturday and closed on Mondays. Call the library for hours.

Historic Photography Show – Opening Reception

PhotoThe Ligonier Valley Library will hold its annual Historic Photography Show beginning with an Opening Reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Pennsylvania Room on Tuesday, November 13. The Reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

This year’s exhibit, titled, “Historic Photography Shows: A Sixteen Year Retrospective,” will feature selected photos that committee members felt were the most interesting or unusual. Themes of past exhibits include the railroad, churches, schools, hotels, restaurants, Fort Ligonier Days, coal and coke, farming, trout fishing, the Lincoln Highway, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, fire departments, the Diamond, and the 1950s. A special wall will honor some of the area veterans of World War II who were casualties of that conflict.

All photographs and documents collected during the past shows are available for use in the Pennsylvania Room. Any information recently come to light is always a welcome addition to the collection.

The exhibit is open to the public during Library hours and will run through the end of the year.