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More Mt. Pleasant glass museum backers sought

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
For The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Scottdale's Don Sechrist, a former area glass plant employee, explains the process of making glass at the 'hot end' of a glass factory during his work as a volunteer at the Mt. Pleasant Glass Industry Exhibit located at the In-Town Shops in Mt. Pleasant recently Marilyn Forbes | For The Independent-Observer

Mt. Pleasant has a rich history of manufacturing fine glassware.

Depending on the amount of public interest shown, officials of the Mt. Pleasant Area Cultural Trust hope to highlight that history with a permanent museum in the borough.

The facility would be an expansion of an exhibit located at the In-Town Shops on Main Street which showcases the craftsmanship and the history of three local glass companies — L.E. Smith Glass, Bryce Brothers, and Lenox Crystal.

The museum would fall under the umbrella of the Mt. Pleasant Area Cultural Trust.

“When you here Mt. Pleasant, many people automatically think of glass,” said Cindy Stevenson, a borough councilwoman and trust secretary. “I think that a glass museum here in town is something that is long overdue.”

Trust President Cassandra Vivian said she hopes to make the site of the exhibit the permanent location of the museum, but that it ultimately depends on if the exhibit garners enough public interest.

“This is a wonderful location right here,” Vivian said. “This is large enough and it's a good, central location.”

Membership is now being accepted to the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum and membership forms are available at the exhibit site.

The annual cost to be a member is:

• $50 for businesses

• $35 for families

• $25 for adults under age 65

•$15 for students/seniors

Membership proceeds will aid in the establishment and maintenance of the museum as well as programs, demonstrations and newsletters.

“We are hoping to get enough members to take care of expenses each year,” Vivian said. “One will be paying a membership as one would to the Carnegie Museum or to West Overton.”

For now, the trust's board of directors will represent members but a secondary board made up of members could be appointed, Vivian said.

“Eventually we will create a board of people who have a glass background and offer influence in the glass and foundation world,” she said. “We will be changing exhibits, offering lectures, perhaps host auctions and definitely someone will occasionally offer to evaluate your glassware.”

Members of the museum will also receive a quarterly newsletter that will include news and updates. The newsletter will include columns written by Harley Trice and Tom Wible, who have ancestors who established the Bryce Brothers and L.E. Smith companies.

All paid memberships and donations to the museum will also finance a glassware collection and education as well as aid in the museum's growth.

“Mt. Pleasant has needed a glass museum for a long time,” Mayor Jerry Lucia said. “It's nice to see all the different types of glass from the three factories all displayed under one roof. I think it's something that people are really going to like and appreciate.”

Vivian said that the response to the exhibit has been “extremely positive,” but that more interest is needed to get the permanent facility set.

Donations and membership fees are tax deductible.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.