Excuse for an Excursion: The Blennerhassett Island

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By Rachael, VISTA

The Blennerhassett Island, located in Parkersburg, WV, was discovered by Harman Blennerhassett in 1798 where he settled on the wild and wonderful island and built a magnificent mansion.  The Blennerhassett Mansion became known during its time as the most beautiful home in the Ohio Valley. It was an extremely elegant estate with interior furnishings and paintings from all over the world as well as beautiful lawns and flower gardens.

Unfortunately, the magnificence of the Blennerhassett haven proved to be tragically short lived and in 1811, the mansion burned to the ground leaving only legend behind. The 1984 reconstruction of the estate began by the State of West Virginia and today Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park has over 50,000 visitors a year.

blennerhassettToday, visitors to the island start the tour with a relaxing ride aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler. Almost every day of the week, visitors to Parkersburg, W.Va., can find the sternwheeler waiting to depart from Point Park to take them to the island.

Once on the island, there are countless activities to enjoy! Volunteers in costume are available to conduct tours throughout the mansion. Horse drawn carriage rides are also available as a way to tour the charming island. Aside from the mansion itself, the nature and landscape of the island is delightful as well. Hardwood groves, long beaches and broad fields provide the perfect habitat for countless varieties of wildlife and make for a wonderful day hike around the island.

Blennerhassett Island also features several unique events for visitors to enjoy all year round. This October, for two nights only, the island is adorned with hundreds of candles, and electricity is banished. The mansion and the island are transformed into a flame-lit world of the 18th-century where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island. It is an enchanting evening filled with music, 18th-century dancing, and countless other activities on the island. While on the island, plan to take a horse-drawn wagon ride, visit the gift shop, or warm yourself by an inviting bonfire. Reservations are required for this event.  Relaxing fall Dinner Cruises and Sunday Brunches with Margaret Blennerhassett are also popular and enjoyable events for guests.

Plan a trip to the Mid-Ohio Valley and come see the Historic Blennerhassett Island State Park!

For more about the history of the island: http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/mansion.html

Plan a trip! – http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/location.html

http://www.greaterparkersburg.com/

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