Greater Parkersburg: Unveiling The Hidden Gems and Must-See Attractions

March 28, 2024

The bustling travelling season is coming as quick as the warm weather here in Greater Parkersburg. If you’re looking for a new historical adventure, make sure to plan a visit to our attractions this season.

Blennerhassett Island – Opens April 30, 2024

Blennerhassett Island State Park is Parkersburg’s main tourist attraction. Located right on the Ohio River, the island is a 20-minute boat ride from Point Park. It’s a very important piece of early American history right here in Parkersburg, W.Va.

The island is a picturesque picnic spot for a lovely spring date. Visitors can take a guided mansion tour and a covered wagon ride of the island to learn the rich history of the island. A concession stand with sandwiches and a gift shop are also available on the island.


Blennerhassett Island was once home to Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, Irish aristocrats who ran away to America and settled on the island in 1798. They began construction on their estate, which at its time of completion, was possibly the largest and grandest house in western frontier of America.

However, only a few years after settling on the island, Aaron Burr sought refuge on the island after his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton. Burr convinced Harman to join him on a quest of military enterprise that led to President Thomas Jefferson accusing the two of treason. The two were captured and imprisoned; Burr was tried and acquitted and Blennerhassett was released. The mansion was burned to the ground in 1811 and a reconstruction of the mansion began in 1984. The mansion was opened to the public in 1987.

Henderson Hall – Opens April 3, 2024

The Henderson Hall Plantation is a perfect day trip and another important piece of history here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The mansion was built in 1859 and housed five generations of the Henderson family. The hall is open for guided tours, and it’s nothing short of a museum with hundreds of historical artifacts and clothing. Henderson Hall is also an event venue, and they’re hosting the part of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra-Parkersburg on April 21, 2024.


Alexander Henderson Sr. arrived in Virginia in the 1700s serving in the House of Burgesses and as a member of the committee that decided the boundary lines between Maryland and Virginia. It was on advice from his friend George Washington that Henderson purchased 25,000 acres in Western Virginia for his three sons to live on.

Brothers Alexander and John Henderson had a key role in the treasonous story of Blennerhassett and Burr. It was them who reported their plan to President Jefferson, the Secretary of the State and the local militia.

The Castle, Marietta, Ohio – Opens April 1

The Castle was the home to some of the most prominent and influential citizens of Marietta, Ohio. The house was built in 1855, and a carriage house was completed three years later. The Castle opened for tours as a historical house museum in 1994. They also offer educational and cultural programs throughout the year as well.


The Castle was the site of business, community and family functions. Only five families have lived on the property between 1808 and 1974. Residents included lawyers, bankers, land and oil speculators and a President Pro Tem of the Ohio Senate. Various items from the various owners of the house are on display.

Other Attractions

The biggest draw for tourism here in Greater Parkersburg is history. The Julia-Ann Square Historic District, the Oil & Gas Museum, The Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History and the Phelps-Tavenner House, which also has a connection to the Blennerhassetts, are all historic attractions that drawn people into the area. Finally, Discovery World on Market is a newly opened children’s museum that’s seen 60,000 visitors in its first year of operation!

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