The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park

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Blennerhassett Plantation
Horses graze on Blennerhassett Island

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park (map), near Parkersburg, WV, in Wood County, protects this historical island in the Ohio River. Sternwheelers ferry visitors from Point Park in Parkersburg to the island, a spectacular trip in itself. The rebuilt Blennerhassett Mansion on the island's western end serves as the focal point for this unique natural preserve. An Irish aristocrat, Harmon Blennerhassett settled on the island in 1798 and built one of the most elegant estates in Virginia. The mansion burned in 1811, but its foundations were uncovered in 1973 and the mansion was rebuilt.

Archaeological excavation at the Blennerhassett Island site have revealed evidence the location had been habitated by Native Americans, from at least 9,000 B.C. A museum located in the rebuilt Blennerhassett Mansion exhibits pre-contact Indian artifacts, items once owned by the Blennerhassett family, clothing, farm tools, jewelry, furniture, guns, glass and art.

Recreation: bike paths, sternwheeler ride, horse-drawn carriage rides

Lodging: nearby

Dining: picnic areas

Highlights: Blennerhassett Plantation, Sternwheeler Ferry, Blennerhassett Museum

Park Maps: Map :Topo Map

See also: Blennerhassett Island Historic District, Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Blennerhassett Island Historic State Park: Official Website
137 Juliana St., Parkersburg, WV 26101-5331 / Phone: (304) 420-4800