News from the region
Historic Ligonier synagogue for sale
One of Indiana’s historic synagogues is for sale, and Indiana Landmarks has committed to its protection. The Ligonier Public Library recently announced it is accepting bids on the former Ahavath Sholom temple.
Constructed in 1889, the temple contains beautiful decorative glass windows and extensive interior woodwork. It remained a Jewish temple until 1950s when it was transformed into a protestant church. Later abandoned and empty for a decade, the building was turned into a repository for the collections of the Ligonier Historical Society. Ligonier Public Library took ownership 1989.
Earlier this year the library completed an extensive addition to its original Carnegie library building, eliminating the need for extra space at the temple. While the building could be used for a variety of new purposes -- from private home to office space -- the library board decided to ensure the building’s architectural character is preserved by donating an easement that requires any exterior changes be approved by Indiana Landmarks.
Founded by Issac Cavin in 1835, Ligonier grew slowly until 1857, when a rail line connecting Toledo and Chicago provided an economic engine for growth, swelling the town’s population to 1,100 in just eight years. Many of the new settlers were Jewish immigrants from Germany finding a religious tolerance among the German Mennonites who had settled Noble County. As the children of Ligonier’s Jewish community left pursued education and careers outside the city, the number of Jewish residents declined. By the 1920s only 24 families remained.
Bids for the temple building are due September 22, 2015. For more information, contact: Jerry L. Nesbitt, email@example.com, 260-894-4511.
Read more about the decision to sell the building, or check out a self-guided walking tour (PDF) of the Ligonier National Register District.