By Rachael, VISTA
The Blennerhassett Island, located in Parkersburg, WV, was discovered by Harman Blennerhassett in 1798 where he settled on the wild and wonderful island and built a magnificent mansion. The Blennerhassett Mansion became known during its time as the most beautiful home in the Ohio Valley. It was an extremely elegant estate with interior furnishings and paintings from all over the world as well as beautiful lawns and flower gardens.
Unfortunately, the magnificence of the Blennerhassett haven proved to be tragically short lived and in 1811, the mansion burned to the ground leaving only legend behind. The 1984 reconstruction of the estate began by the State of West Virginia and today Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park has over 50,000 visitors a year.
Today, visitors to the island start the tour with a relaxing ride aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler. Almost every day of the week, visitors to Parkersburg, W.Va., can find the sternwheeler waiting to depart from Point Park to take them to the island.
Once on the island, there are countless activities to enjoy! Volunteers in costume are available to conduct tours throughout the mansion. Horse drawn carriage rides are also available as a way to tour the charming island. Aside from the mansion itself, the nature and landscape of the island is delightful as well. Hardwood groves, long beaches and broad fields provide the perfect habitat for countless varieties of wildlife and make for a wonderful day hike around the island.
Blennerhassett Island also features several unique events for visitors to enjoy all year round. This October, for two nights only, the island is adorned with hundreds of candles, and electricity is banished. The mansion and the island are transformed into a flame-lit world of the 18th-century where the Blennerhassetts are hosting a party on the island. It is an enchanting evening filled with music, 18th-century dancing, and countless other activities on the island. While on the island, plan to take a horse-drawn wagon ride, visit the gift shop, or warm yourself by an inviting bonfire. Reservations are required for this event. Relaxing fall Dinner Cruises and Sunday Brunches with Margaret Blennerhassett are also popular and enjoyable events for guests.
Plan a trip to the Mid-Ohio Valley and come see the Historic Blennerhassett Island State Park!
For more about the history of the island: http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/mansion.html
Plan a trip! – http://www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/location.html
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for new sites to be added to the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail. Theater owners, interested community organizations, and others can apply to add a theater to the Trail by submitting an application form to email@example.com by November 15, 2015, at 5:00pm. Download the application form here: WV Historic Theatre Trail Application.
The West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail is a statewide thematic tour of historic theaters, encompassing both cinemas and live performance venues. All of the Trail’s theaters are listed in, or have been officially determined eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places – the official list of the nation’s historic places deemed worthy of preservation by the National Park Service. Currently encompassing 24 theaters across 17 of West Virginia’s 55 counties, the Trail promotes the rehabilitation and sustainable operation of our state’s historic theaters for the enjoyment of the public. The Trail was born in 2010 following a 2007 Preserve America grant award to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), in partnership with PAWV, to develop statewide thematic tours to encourage heritage tourism in communities throughout the state.
The American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) of the National Park Service in Washington, DC, has opened its 2016 grants competition. The ABPP awards grants for preservation projects that lead to the permanent protection of endangered battlefield lands. Projects that involve multiple stakeholders are given preference.
Who May Apply?
Non-profit groups, academic institutions, and local, regional, state, and tribal governments
Project areas must be on American soil and/or within U.S. territorial waters.
1 ) Battlefields – occurred between two opposing military organizations or forces recognized as such by their respective cultures (not civil unrest).
2) Associated Sites – Sites occupied before, during, or after a battle at which events occurred that had a direct influence on the tactical development of the battle or the outcome of the battle. A site must be associated with a battle in order to be considered an Associated Site.
Eligible Project Types
Eligible project types include, but are not limited to, the following.
Site Identification and Documentation Projects
– Historical research
– Archeological surveys and cultural landscape inventories
– Nominations to the National Register of Historic Places
– GIS/GPS mapping
Planning and Consensus Building Projects
– Acquisition, strategic, and preservation plans
– Studies of land related to, or adjacent to, publicly owned and protected battlefield lands
– Management, landscape, and stabilization plans
– Interpretation plans
– Preservation advocacy and consensus building within a community
Interpretation or Education Projects
– Brochures stressing preservation
– Interpretive programs stressing preservation techniques
– Sign development and design
All project applications must clearly demonstrate that the proposed activity will contribute directly to the preservation of battlefield land or an associated site. Grant funds may be used to procure professional services, equipment, and supplies necessary to conduct the proposed project.
None required, although applications that include matching funds and in-kind donations will be given preference.
No minimum or maximum. The average award amount is $32,300, although the ABPP has awarded grants beyond $100,000.
January 14, 2016 by 4 pm, EST. For paper submissions, applications must be hand stamped in by 4 pm (post marks and delivery receipts not accepted after deadline). For Grants.gov submissions, applications must be uploaded and submitted by 4 pm, EST.
The 2016 guidelines and application form are available online at www.Grants.gov (click on the “Search Grants Tab” along the top. Then search by our CDFA # 15.926 on the left) and www.nps.gov/abpp/grants/planninggrants.htm.
For more information about ABPP grants, or to receive paper copies of the guidelines and application, please contact Kristen McMasters, ABPP Grants Manager, at 202-354-2037 or Kristen_McMasters@nps.gov.
News and Notes
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive e-news updates on historic preservation news and events in West Virginia.