Mansion by Candlelight is October 12 and 13 at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. For two nights only, Blennerhassett Mansion and the island takes on an 18th century glow when hundreds of candles light the way from the sternwheeler landing to the mansion and to other activities on the island. Sternwheeler rides will transport attendees back to 1805 where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island.
Harman Blennerhassett, a wealthy Irish aristocrat, settled on the wilderness island in 1798 with his lovely wife Margaret and completed construction of their magnificent mansion in 1800. The candlelight tour gives visitors an opportunity to visit Blennerhassett Island’s re-created and exciting social life of 200 years ago –the world known by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett. The evenings include costumed re-enactors, music from the Valley Renaissance Consort playing recorders, the dulcimer and other stringed instruments, dancing and lively card games.
According to special events coordinator Pam Salisbury, “The island is absolutely beautiful and individuals attending Mansion by Candlelight will feel like they have stepped back 200 years in time.” The Mansion by Candlelight Tour, sponsored by the Friends of Blennerhassett, began in 1996 and has since become the island’s most popular annual event.
A picnic-style harvest supper, offered at the island shelter, features roasted pork, seasoned potatoes, baked beans, Cole slaw, rolls, pumpkin pie, and a beverage. Harvest supper tickets are $15 per person and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations for the supper are necessary and must be made by October 9. Supper hours are at 6:30, 7, 7:30, and 8 p.m. The concession stand on the island will also be open each evening.
Horse-drawn wagon rides around the upper half of the island are included in the event ticket cost. A bonfire setting is the location for a spirited servants’ party. This party features bluegrass music and the West Virginia Mountain Pride dancers performing lively dances. Galen Smith, a local actor, is scheduled to entertain with spine-tingling ghost stories of local folklore. The Stillwell 4-H club will be making apple butter for purchase.
Ticket price for either night is $25 for adults and $17 for youth 3-12. The Mansion by Candlelight ticket includes the sternwheeler ride, mansion visit, wagon ride and activities planned for the evening. The sternwheeler departs from Civitan Park for the island at 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30, and 8 p.m. for these two special evenings. The harvest supper is a separate cost. For reservations and ticket purchases, call 304-420-4800, or in person at the Blennerhassett Museum at 2nd and Juliana streets, Parkersburg.
To learn more about Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, visit www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com
Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources