The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Blennerhassett Island Historic District

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Site of Nemacolin's encampment

In the Ohio River southwest of Parkersburg, WV, this unique historical district preserves the island settled by Harman Blennerhassett, who was accused of plotting with Aaron Burr to establish an independent government southwest of the United States. He was charged with treason in 1807, and though aquitted lost much of his fortune, including his island plantation.

In the greater sceme of things, Blennerhassett was a late-comer to the island, as archaeological excavations at the Blennerhassett Island site have revealed evidence the location had been habitated by American Indians, from at least 9,000 B.C. Nemacolin, a Delaware (Lenape) Indian and noted scout for Christopher Gist of the Ohio Company, lived on the island during the mid-1700's. An ancient trail Nemacolin revealed to Gist, running between the Potomac and the Monongahela rivers to the present-day site of Cumberland, MD, to the present-day location of Brownsville, PA, was first known as Nemacolin's Path. The path later became known as Braddock's Road, then later as the Cumberland Road or National Road, which was built following the orginal route.

A museum located in the rebuilt Blennerhassett Mansion, at Blennerhassett Island Historic State Park, exhibits pre-contact Indian artifacts, items once owned by the Blennerhassett family, clothing, farm tools, jewelry, furniture, guns, glass and art.

Also in Parkersburg: Avery Street Historic District, Julia-Ann Square Historic District

Map and topo map showing Blennerhassett Island