The History of Blennerhassett Island
The history of Blennerhassett Island has made it the Ohio River’s most famous island. In 1789, the island was settled by Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett, wealthy Irish aristocrats fleeing political persecution and personal scandal. Over the years, the couple’s mansion gained a reputation for being the West’s most beautiful home. Then, in 1805, they allowed their estate to become headquarters for Aaron Burr’s military expedition to the Southwest, an episode that raised the island to national renown and awarded it a permanent footnote in American history. The Burr conspiracy, which is suspected to have involved a treasonous plot to create a new country independent of the United States, has become the subject of many stories, poems, artwork and Broadway shows. The Blennerhassetts fled the island when Burr’s scheme collapsed but the mansion and history remain.