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W.Va. glassmaking industry celebrating 200 years

April 25, 2013
By Melissa Toothman - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

In celebration of 200 years of West Virginia glassmaking, the Museum of American Glass in Weston has many events planned for the upcoming months.

Events are already planned as far ahead as October. To celebrate the 200 years, the Museum of American Glass is sponsoring a marble show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4 at the town square in Cairo. There will be a glass benefit auction and reception at 7 p.m., May 31 at the museum. Information on these and many other events are available on the museum's website.

The museum is expanding to include a classroom to host "Glass College," a one-week course limited to 25 or 30 people who are interested in studying about glass and visiting different glass makers. Sharon Pickens with the Museum of American Glass said that she hopes the classes will be offered annually.

"We're trying to really get dedicated and get responsible in doing a lot of educational things," she said. "We're trying to draw a lot of younger people into the museum."

Those who cannot commit to a weeklong class will still be able to learn about the museum's glass collection. Tours of the glass museum are always free, Pickens said. The museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The museum is located on Main Street in Weston and showcases more than 15,000 pieces from as early as the sixth century.

"I think everybody likes it when they get here," Pickens said. "We have people from all over the United States and Canada who stop in here."

Visitors can view historical glasswork that remains from a once thriving industry. There is a feature display of glasswork from the 1800s.

While the museum features many glass products from West Virginia, it also displays works from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and even Rome.

"We have a marble that was found in Rome," Pickens said. "We have marbles that go back to the sixth century."

Pickens said that parents are sometimes concerned about bringing their children into the glass museum. She said that children usually occupy themselves with the marble games that are available to play.

"Kids don't even bother the glass because they love these marble machines," Pickens said.

More information about the museum and upcoming events is available online at or by telephone at 304-269-5006.



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