Treasure our history

I would like to express my pleasure upon visiting the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park during the month of October. My compliments to all the volunteers and employees for their outstanding dedication in promoting and preserving this great asset in our community. I had the opportunity to volunteer twice recently and was so enchanted with the mansion and island.

In the past, I have recommended to my out-of-town visitors that it was a must-see trip. Years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the play, “Eden on the River” when it was presented on the front lawn of the mansion. The play was great, the actors outstanding and even the screeching peacocks flying to the rooftop to roost at dusk added to the ambiance of the presentation.

The island served as a venue for baseball for many years per President Bob Enoch, Wood County Historical and Preservation Society, during his recent portrayal of Carl Staley, a 1900s Parkersburg baseball player.

This summer I marked off one of my bucket-list items when through the lineage of my fifth great-grandfather Samuel Butcher, I was approved for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, Blennerhassett Chapter. Several members of our group volunteered for the Mansion by Candlelight activities held Oct. 11 and 12. I was loaned a beautiful day dress by the Friends of the Museum costume department and greeted visitors to Margaret and Harman’s master bedroom. My congratulations to all those that made those two evenings into a great success.

Another event happened on the island that night, I reconnected with a fellow 1964 Parkersburg High School classmate. A docent for several years, she obtained permission for me to accompany her on the last day of the season. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to wear the day dress again. I slipped away from our station to tour the historical Putnam-Houser house and joined the last group of tourists in hearing the Blennerhassett story. Visitors can be greeted next spring with a mansion ready to welcome all to view her.

In order to appreciate our present, we need to know and learn from our past. As a member of the DAR and Parkersburg American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15, which is celebrating its organization’s 100th anniversary as a patriotic organization, I urge you to be proud of our city, state and country — and especially our history!

Dianne McClung



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