Our final adventure for this trip was a stopover in Parkersburg, WV for a scheduled trip on the Island Belle to Blennerhassett Island. The island is home to the Blannerhassett mansion, a replica of the 1800 home built by Harman Blannerhassett for his young wife, Margaret. Their story is quite interesting and somewhat tragic.
While living in England, Blennerhassett had been left a great inheritance ($100,000) by his father. Being Irish, Blannerhassett was facing arrest while in England and moved to America to start a new life for he and Margaret.
In 1805, only 5 years after the Blennerhassetts completed their grand mansion, Harman partnered with former Vice-President Aaron Burr on his quest to take the Southwest. Aaron Burr had a plan to conduct treason against the United States by annexing Louisiana and Mexico and establishing his own government. Margaret Blennerhassett was convinced that if Harman helped Burr, he would use all of his talents and become something great.
Influenced by his wife, Harman invested the remainder of his money to fund this expedition, including buying boats, weapons, and much more. His island was meant to be a main base of the expedition. Thomas Jefferson was notified of this and requested that Aaron Burr and his followers be punished. The Virginia militia was sent to the Ohio River to seize the Blennerhassetts and their island. Harman escaped and his wife was not on the island when the militia came. The house was heavily damaged and all of its contents were auctioned off.
The house eventually was burned to the ground. In 1984, the state of West Virginia funded a rebuilding project for the island and rebuilt the house to the exact blueprints of the house.
Needless to say, Carrie was looking forward to this stop. She packed her Victorian bustle dress just for the occasion. Now, I know some might think she gets a bit extreme with her dresses, but you have no idea how many little girls looked at her in amazement and wanted to talk with her. And, there were several adults who were intrigued as well. She was even asked to become a tour volunteer for the island. ❤️
So, here are the photos from our trip to Blennerhassett Island and tour of the mansion.