Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Trip to 1804 West Virginia (For Nerds Only)

On Saturday Olin and I drove to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia for a trip back in time. The drive through Ohio was beautiful. We crossed the Ohio River and ate dinner at an 1850's hotel. The patio garden was a nice place for an early meal together.

Then we headed to the shore of the Ohio River to await the sunset and to board a stern wheeler. The paddle boat took us to an island in the river in the pitch dark of night. No artificial light. All was lit up with candles and little torches were everywhere for a reenactment of a party in 1804 in the Blennerhasset mansion.

Olin's camera wasn't set up right to
take photos in the dark, but I wanted to capture the idea of all the burning candles on the island. When I walked off the boat we were greeted by people dressed up and in character from 1804.

The experience felt like we were inside of a play, not sitting in theatre seats but walking around the stage and watching and interacting with the actors.

It was really... really... well,


When we first arrived, we climbed aboard a horse-drawn wagon that gave us a tour around the island in the dark, trotting down a path lined by burning torches. We heard a little history of the island.

Then we got in the line to go through the mansion. We met Mr and Mrs Blennerhassett at the door and we went inside to have a look see. The party included dancing on the second floor with live music, music in the downstairs parlor. In fact there was music everywhere on the island.

Like I said, it was really... really...


The evening was perfect with an almost full moon and the West Virginian autumn air was cool with no wind. Perfect.

We ended up at bonfire and I heard some whippersnappers playing banjo, bass, and guitar and singing some fantastic blue-grass with a mountain twang and everything. I felt the young singer could be a star he was that good. As is fitting for October while we warmed ourselves by a bonfire a vivacious older colonial gentleman told us some true ghost stories about the mansion and grounds.

By 10:30 pm we had to walk back through a path of candles and climb aboard the last paddle boat back to Ohio. Olin drove home, while I slept soundly. At 1:30 AM my own bed felt fabulous. When I woke up, it felt like I had had a really weird dream. The end.


  1. Oh, I would have loved that whole night!!!! Sounds like so much fun!

  2. Ooh, I'm a nerd! I'm a nerd! :) I would have been dressed up with everyone else. The candlelight must have been magical, and the music, too.

    Thanks for sharing, and for your sweet comments on my blog. I actually am thinking of writing a book (it's on the LOONG list of things to do)!



  3. That sounds like so much fun. The historical buildings are so impressive.