Blennerhassett Island State Park


Blennerhassett Island State Park
137 Juliana St., Parkersburg, WV
304-420-4800 |
Admission plus ferry service
Once on the island, visitors may enjoy tours of the grounds and mansion and horse-drawn carriage rides. Tours are offered when the park is open, from May through the last weekend of October.

Take a sternwheeler riverboat ride to a small island in the Ohio River and learn about the tragic events that happened to one of Blennerhasset Island’s richest landowners.   

Here is a quick synopsis:

A wealthy aristocrat, Harman Blennerhasset, involved in a marital family scandal, escapes his country to spend part of his family fortune to build a home on a small island in the Ohio River. He then hooks up with former United States Vice President Aaron Burr,  yes the same Aaron Burr that killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, who happens to be reaching out to the wealthy land owners for investment in an expedition to take over the Texas Territory from Mexico. Aaron talks Harman into letting him use his island as a military headquarters.  Using one-third of his fortune, Harman starts investing in arms, food and more, with the promise he will be involved in the new government.

Local settler’s catch wind of what they think is happening on the island and share the details with then President Jefferson, who believes a conspiracy to overtake the American government is happening, not a conspiracy to take the Texas Territory away from Mexico.

Aaron and Harman leave the island. Harman is later jailed and accused of being involved in a conspiracy against the United States, all the while his family flees the Island on a flat boat down the Ohio River. During the trial the truth comes out that there was no conspiracy to take over the government and Harman is found not guilty.  Harman not great at finances comes home to find his family’s belongings being sold to pay the back taxes on the property. If things could not get even more crazier, a destructive fire consumes the mansion.   Another third of Harman’s fortune is lost.

Blennerhasset Island State Park

Photo credits: D. Rock | MyOhioFun.comBlennerhasset Island State Park

Harman and his wife Margaret will loose their final fortune during their time in the south.  They purchased a cotton farm which did not survive years of drought. They later find themselves back in Europe.

In 1973, the State Park rebuilt the mansion on the its original foundation.  Today, you can tour the Palladian style mansion and step-back in time to 1798.

Blennerhasset Island State Park

MyOhioFun Road Trip Notes:

Parking to catch the ferry is before the break wall. Look for signs. If you park by the river there is a time limit.  You will need to visit the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History to purchase your ferry pass. Restrooms are available at the museum. The ferry ride is approximately 20 minutes.

Point Park located on 2nd Street is where you will board.

This stop on the Pioneer Trail will require you to board the Island Belle Sternwheeler ferry in Parkersburg.  Once on the island, you can also take a horse drawn carriage ride around the island, as well as tour the grounds.  Please allow plenty of time to enjoy the island. There is an admission fee for the home tour and carriage rides.

Stay for a few days in Marietta.

With so much history and places to explore, we suggest you plan to visit longer than just a day. You can thank us later.


Before you go:

Need help planning your road trip to Marietta? Visit to view their Travel guide, request a FREE copy, and/or to check out their list of Itineraries.

Washington County Convention and Visitor Bureau
241 Front Street Suite 7, Marietta, Ohio 45750
740.373.5178 or 1.800.288.2577 |

What to bring:

A camera.  Always pack a cooler for those perishables you may find along the way.  Wear appropriate shoes for any outdoor hiking or adventures. Dress for weather. Sunny days require sunscreen.

Read the book:

The Heroic Story of the Settlers- THE PIONEERS by David McCullough.
A perfect book to read as you explore the history of Marietta and the pioneers who settled there.


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CLICK HERE to learn more.

Blennerhasset Island State Park
137 Juliana St., Parkersburg, WV
304-420-4800 |

CLICK HERE to learn more.

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Article and photos, unless noted by:

Diane is the owner and editor of and the Tea Cup Rescue Society. She is an avid baker, gardener, Little Free Library owner, who loves to read and travel.  She spends most of her days sharing her love of things to do in Ohio, as well as creating destinations and itineraries for group tours and individual travelers.

Editor’s note:   Any use of the above article or images without prior permission, will be in violation of copyright laws. The Washington County CVB compensated a three-day tour of Marietta. 

***Disclosure:  My Ohio Fun receives compensation from advertising banners.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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