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A Gem in West Virginia

By Linda Tancs

The Ohio River’s most famous island is arguably Blennerhassett, a small island near Parkersburg, West Virginia, constituting Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. It’s named for Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, wealthy Irish aristocrats who settled there in 1789. The centerpiece is their Palladian-style mansion, a favorite attraction for over 40,000 tourists each year. In addition to tours of the mansion and its grounds, horse-drawn carriage rides are available. The ride there is almost as enchanting as the park itself because the island is accessed via a 19th-century sternwheeler riverboat departing from Point Park in Parkersburg. The park is open from May to October.

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