Once known as the “Island of Eden,” Blennerhassett Island Historical Park continues to be shrouded in mystery and romance after 200 years.
This autumn the park will once again be transformed into a flame-lit world of the 18th-century when electricity is banished for the annual Mansion by Candlelight event on Oct. 12 and 13.
Guests are transported back to the year 1805 where Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett are hosting a lavish party complete with mansion tours, horse-drawn wagon rides, period games and dancing, a harvest supper, and the servant’s party. Authentic sternwheeler rides ferry guests to and from the island’s reverie.
Reservations are required for Mansion by Candlelight. Ticket includes the round-trip sternwheeler ride and activities. Tickets the harvest picnic supper are sold separately. Call the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park’s office at 304.420.4800 or 800. CALL.WVA for ticket information and reservations.
The history of Blennerhassett Island has made it the Ohio River’s most famous island. In 1789, the island was settled by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, wealthy Irish aristocrats fleeing political persecution and personal scandal.
Over the years, the couple’s Palladian-style mansion gained a reputation for being the West’s most beautiful home. The 7,000-square foot home was modeled after General George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
In 1805, the Blennerhassetts allowed their estate to become headquarters for Aaron Burr’s military expedition to the Southwest, an episode that raised the island to national renown and awarded it a permanent footnote in American history. The Burr conspiracy, which is suspected to have involved a treasonous plot to create a new country independent of the United States, has become the subject of many stories, poems, artwork and Broadway shows. The Blennerhassetts fled the island when Burr’s scheme collapsed, but the mansion and history remain.
To learn more about Greater Parkersburg and these events, visit www.GreaterParkersburg.com or call the Greater Parkersburg Convention & Visitors Bureau office at 304-428-1130.