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Behind the music at Blennerhassett Island

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:28 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Scott Cain has been working at Blennerhassett Island for over 15 years but got his start at Disney World. Some could call this tour guide the heartbeat of the island.

There’s one thing for sure, Scott has always been keeping rhythm...

“I came over here to play music because my great grandparents lived over here on one of the farms in the 1890′s. I just wanted to see what it was like for just another...more than an hour, more than a tourist,” he said.

Scott Cain’s start at the island sounds a lot like fate.

He remembered, “They heard me playing music and they said ‘oh come on over come closer to the mansion’ and then I was inside the mansion and then the tourists really liked it and we had this whole little routine set up and they said ‘oh well we’re short people today. We don’t have docents. You’ve heard this a lot of times. Could you be a docent today?’ And then it just kept going from there...,”

Scott is more than a tour guide. He’s helped paint and clean the mansion, enhanced its current design, and he’s a member of a nonprofit that runs the island’s retail.

Scott’s knowledge of the island goes far beyond his tours.

Blennerhassett Island Caretaker Thomas Harding says, when a guest has a question, Scott probably has an answer.

Harding remembered one incident.

“They were talking about - they wanted to know where touch and go’s...they used to fly and practice touch and goes on the island - the military did and Scott knew where that happened so I asked Scott. Well he’s a pilot also and I didn’t know that about him.”

You can also literally hear Scott’s influence in the mansion.

He’s come out with several CD’s.

“I do all of the recording, I do all of the photography, I do all of the - I put it completely together. Nobody else involved with it,” Scott said.

His source of much of his inspiration for his music? The sternwheeler ride to the island.

“And I get all of my ideas - a lot of it going up and down the river right here. I’ve been on this boat hundreds and hundreds of times...,”

Scott began making CD’s for background music to add some ambiance to the quiet island. He can play about a dozen different instruments - one being the trumpet.

It’s an instrument that got Scott one of his first gigs.

He remembered, “After I graduated from high school, 19 years old, I got a job in the Fife and Drum Corps down at Disney World.”

Although the drum corps was terminated shortly after Scott was hired, he stayed at Disney, working in production.

Even when Scott left the park, he took life lessons with him.

“At Disney World, you have to be 100% professional. It was almost run like the military back there in the 1970′s when I was there. If you screwed up, they would tell you there are 5,000 people waiting for your job.”

Scott’s professionalism and dedication shines through in all his work at the island. How Island Caretaker Thomas Hardman words it is...,

“Anything you need Scott to do, Scott will do.”

In fact...

“Scott is Blennerhassett Island. He’s you know - he’s a performer here but you don’t know he’s performing because he cares about it.”

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