Blennerhassett Island Regional History Museum set to reopen

Tuesday will be reopening day for the Blennerhassett Island Regional History Museum at Second and Juliana streets in Parkersburg. The museum was closed because of the pandemic. Hours will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — The Blennerhassett Island Regional History Museum will reopen on Tuesday, officials said.

The museum, Second and Juliana streets, will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission will be $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 3-12 and free for 3 and under.

The museum has been closed along with state parks and facilities in West Virginia as a precaution to stop and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Gov. Jim Justice has been relaxing restrictions on parks.

State facilities opening on Tuesday include cabins, lodges, nature centers, museums and restaurants with reduced seating capacity. Earlier this week, the state permitted the opening of park camping offices and stores, boathouses, bathing facilities at campgrounds, golf courses, shotgun ranges, riding stables and other day recreation facilities.

The opening of Blennerhassett Island has yet to be determined, Craig Pyles, assisted superintendent, said.

“At this time the Island Belle and the island’s park’s facilities are not open to visitors,” he said. “We will be announcing the opening when the governor and the state health representatives announce that it is safe for visitors to congregate and enjoy the experience of the island.

Social distancing guidelines by the state also will be followed at the museum, including occupancy, Pyle said. Existing guidelines allow 30 people at a time in the museum.

The museum also will follow a more diligent cleaning and sanitizing schedule for the prevention of the spread of the virus, Pyles said.

New museum features this year include a display of Fenton Carnival Glass, an exhibit of Mid-Ohio Valley railroad items and a collection of DeSales Heights Academy ephemera. The museum also has a section dedicated to the area’s riverboat history.

The Stahl Collection, formerly at Parkersburg High School, is now on display at the museum, features Native American artifacts from the area.

Operated by the Blennerhassett Island Historical Foundation, the gift shop includes many West Virginia-made items such as wooden kitchen utensils from Allegheny Treenware, Blue Smoke Salsa and Smith’s Rock Candy from St. Marys. The gift shop also features among the area’s best book collections for West Virginia-themed books and area authors.

For more information, call 304 420-4800.


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