Blennerhassett Island to host Mansion by Candlelight

Photo courtesy of Kathy Abbott The Blennerhassett Mansion will be open to visitors during the evening hours of Oct. 13-14 as part of “Blennerhassett Island by Night — The Mansion by Candlelight.”

PARKERSBURG — The annual “Blennerhassett Island by Night — The Mansion by Candlelight” program will offer visitors to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park the chance to step back in time to experience an autumn celebration as it might once have been done in the years when it served as the residence of Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett.

This year’s “Mansion by Candlelight” will be Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the boat ride, wagon ride and special mansion tour are $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12.

Space is limited and reservations are required by calling 304-420-4800 or visiting the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History at Second and Juliana streets in downtown Parkersburg.

Instead of the normal docking point at Point Park in Parkersburg, visitors will board the Island Belle at Civitan Park in Belpre. The event will be held rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable.

Boats will depart to Blennerhassett Island at 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. and will return to Belpre at 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10 and 10:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Kathy Abbott In addition to visiting the mansion, visitors to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park will be able to visit the Servants Party on Oct. 13-14 for “Blennerhassett Island by Night — The Mansion by Candlelight.”

Park spokesman Pam Salisbury said any unsold boat and mansion tickets will be available each evening at the Blennerhassett Museum.

Wagon rides will be available, weather permitting. The island gift shop will be open and offering its regular items.

The concession stand will also be open each evening and offers a variety of foods and drink.

In addition, a harvest supper will be held both nights.

Tickets for the harvest supper are separate from the boat ride and mansion tour and are $15 a person, with reservations required. The harvest supper will be offered at 6:15, 6:45, 7:15, 7:45 and 8:15 p.m. both evenings.

The Mansion by Candlelight Tour, sponsored by the Friends of Blennerhassett, began in 1996 and has become an annual event, Salisbury said. As visitors board the sternwheeler at Civitan Park, they begin their journey back to the year 1805 and become cast in the role of guests at Margaret and Harman Blennerhassett’s island home and estate, she said.

While daylight tours of the Blennerhassett Mansion are available throughout the summer, only a few glimpses are offered of the restored mansion after dark each year. It will be lit by candlelight and decorated in neoclassical style with flowers and greenery, Salisbury said.

Docents in period dress will welcome visitors, who will be able to watch dances and gentlemen playing cards and a fortune-teller tent. There will also be performances featuring recorders, a hammered dulcimer, and chamber music. The servants party will feature a bonfire, dancing, music, apple butter making by Stillwell 4-H Club and storytelling.