The Glass Museum
Check out our new billboard on State Rd. 67 near Albany, IN!
The Glass Museum in Dunkirk, Indiana is a not-for-profit organization which is owned and operated by the Dunkirk Public Library.
Dunkirk Public Library was started in 1917 in the "South" or "Sutton" school. The Carnegie Foundation gave a small grant to purchase the first books. In March of 1946, the school board requested that the library move from the school building. In August the library moved to the City Hall building just across the railroad tracks on the east side of Main Street.
Because of extensive needed repairs, the library once again moved in March 1968 to the residential property at its present address of 127 West Washington Street. In 1987 the residence was torn down and the present building built. This was made possible in part by a small grant from the Portland Foundation. This grant was the result of a donation from Mrs. Emmaline Fish estate from Dunkirk. The library also wishes to acknowledge extensive time and effort put into the development of the new building by Mr. Howard McCune of Dunkirk who was a longtime active board member and supporter of the library.
A very interesting development took place on October 12, 1970 when the Dunkirk Lions Club offered to present the Glass Museum to the Dunkirk Public Library. The museum began as an exhibit of privately owned glassware and was sponsored by the Lions Club. Once the Glass Museum Fund Corporation was formed funds were solicited from not only local interests, but also from suppliers to the local glass plants for construction of a building in which to house the museum.
On May 26, 1976 the Library sold the property on which the Glass Museum is located at 309 South Franklin adjacent to the library to the Glass Museum Fund Corporation for one dollar. When the construction was complete the Glass Museum Fund agreed to sell the property, with improvements back to the library free of indebtedness.
In June of 1979 the library accepted the assets and liabilities of the Glass Museum Fund, Inc. The museum property was not free of indebtedness nor was the building complete at the time of the acceptance by the Library Board. The Glass Museum was dedicated in 1981 with special recognition to Arthur Harshman in promoting the establishment of the museum and Kenneth Webster, who was the long time Curator at the museum until his passing in August of 1997. Mary (Newsome) Foor was the Curator from 1997-2012. Blake Watson is our current Glass Museum Curator.
There are over 8,000 pieces of glassware from 110 factories around the world currently on exhibit in the museum. We primarily have glass that was made locally at Indiana Glass in Dunkirk and other area factories including 25 leaded lamps, 25 leaded windows and an exhibit of cup plates, which were primarily manufactured on the East coast.
We have pressed glass-making tools including a hand press. There is a leaded glass mural showing glass blowing and shaping. There are many Dagenhart, Carnival Glass, lead crystal, Milk glass, Diamond Point, King's Crown, Albany Glass, Norse, Sandwich, Tiara, household and farm items.
The Glass Museum is operated by volunteers throughout the season of May 1 to October 31 of each year. The hours of operation are: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am-2:00pm. Other hours by appointment only.
Admission is $2.00 for adults. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Tours are available during the off-season by appointment.