Blennerhassett Island to debut classical garden party June 23

Re-enactors stroll the grounds of the Blennerhassett Mansion. Photo courtesy W.Va. Dept. of Commerce.

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park will debut an early 19th century-style garden party June 23 at the park’s recently restored Blennerhassett Pleasure Garden.

The party will feature lawn games, period music, and dancing, as well as an appearance by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett and their English gardener, Peter Taylor, as portrayed in costume by historians Richard and Martha Hartley and Mark Abbott.

Guest archeologist Dr. Jerrel Anderson will join the group to lend a hand.

“This party promises to be a very special afternoon,” said Pam Salisbury, activity coordinator at the park.

“Like any proper garden party in 1805, we will have period-appropriate foods, including small cakes, bread and butter tea sandwiches with shaved ham and beef, cucumber slices, jam tartlet, nonalcoholic syllabub and lemonade.”

To attend the party, guests should take the Island Belle sternwheeler at its 2 p.m. departure from Point Park on the Ohio River at Parkersburg, West Virginia. Early 18th century attire, especially flowery garden party hats, is encouraged.


Prizes will be awarded for event activities, including a patio-sized planter, cut flowers and heirloom flower seed packets — all donated by local individuals, groups and businesses who support the Pleasure Garden restoration project.

In the event of inclement weather, most activities will be moved indoors to Maple Shade (the Putnam-Houser House). Tickets are $35 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 304-420-4800.


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