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Administration Home News/Information Contact Us DNR Home   

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director

 

News Release : July 19, 2007

 

Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381 hoymurphy@wvdnr.gov
Contact:
Donna Smith or Pam Salisbury, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park (304) 420-4800 pamsalisbury@wvdnr.gov

Brunch with Margaret at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park

The original Margaret Blennerhassett of 1798 and the Margaret Blennerhassett re-enactor of 2007 greet island visitors much the same: with kind words, a tasty brunch and of course, a most gracious tour of her home. Brunch with Margaret on Blennerhassett Island is gaining in popularity as visitors from many states have traveled to take part in a unique West Virginia history lesson.

“This is a midmorning event and is growing in popularity,” says Pam Salisbury from her office housed at the museum on the corner of Juliana and 2nd streets. In its third season, Brunch with Margaret has attracted new visitors to West Virginia and Wood County for the unusual event.

“It’s like an outdoor dinner theatre except it is a morning brunch with up-close and personal interaction,” says Salisbury. “We’re very proud to present this little slice of West Virginia history again this summer.” The event reservations are available for about 80 attendees each month.

The initial Blennerhassett home, built on a wilderness island, was a magnificent mansion. It was 7,000 square feet of floor space complete with furniture from London and Baltimore, oriental carpets, and porcelain from Paris. Alabaster lamps and silver added sparkle to the interior and two and one-thirds acres of flower beds provided even more color and personal reflection to the elegant estate. Today, the reconstructed Palladian-style home to Harman and Margaret and the island are part of history and the West Virginia State Parks system.

The Blennerhassetts arrived from Ireland in the late 18 th century. They were wealthy and life was good. However, in 1806, Harman became involved in Aaron Burr’s treasonous plot to establish an empire in the Southwest and was consequently jailed. His fortune and lifestyle was never again the same. This event revives the story during brunch and the mansion tour. The recovery of furnishings and the island history continues as a work in progress both at the mansion and at the state park museum located in downtown Parkersburg.

Brunch with Margaret is scheduled for August 16 and September 20. The event includes a sternwheeler ride to the island, meeting a Margaret Blennerhassett persona and enjoying her historical presentation, brunch and continuing with a tour of the mansion with the lady of the house. There is a participation fee and reservations are required.

For more information about Brunch with Margaret or other events and daily activities at Blennerhassett Island or Blennerhassett Museum, call (304) 420-4800 or visit www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.

**DNR**



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