PARKERSBURG — For two nights in October, visitors to Blennerhassett Island can experience the flame-lit world of 1805 and attend a period-accurate party during the park’s popular Mansion by Candlelight event.
On Oct. 12-13, Blennerhassett Island will come alive at dusk with candlelight from hundreds of lanterns illuminating the graveled paths from the sternwheeler landing to the candlelit mansion. The event includes a re-enactment of a party hosted by the Blennerhassetts, whom the island is named after.
“If you’ve never attended the Mansion by Candlelight tour, then you’re missing out on a big part of Blennerhassett Island and it’s 18-century history and story,” said event coordinator Pam Salisbury.
Harman Blennerhassett, a wealthy Irish aristocrat, settled on the wilderness island in 1798 with his wife Margaret and completed construction of their mansion in 1800. The Candlelight tour is an opportunity to visit the island and see its exciting history brought to life. Rena and Bill Swearingen, local actors who will portray the Blennerhassetts, will join costumed re-enactors in greeting visitors. Music will be played on hammered dulcimers and other stringed instruments by the Valley Renaissance Consort Recorders. Guests can also expect dancing, a lively game of cards, strolling minstrels and more.
Also planned is a “servants’ party,” where guests can enjoy music, dancing, storytelling and homemade apple butter. There will be a picnic-style harvest supper prepared by island chefs at Harman’s Landing. Reservations are required and based on availability. Tickets are $15 per person. The island gift shop and concession stand also will be open each evening.
Tickets can be purchased at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History at 2nd and Juliana streets in Parkersburg, or by calling 304-420-4800. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children 3-12. Tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Transportation to the park is provided by the “Island Belle” Sternwheeler, which departs from Civitan Park in Belpre, Ohio.
Learn more about Blennerhassett Island Historical State park at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.