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Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum opens to big response

| Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Museum board members Harley Trice (left) and Anne Madarasz enjoy a glass of punch from a vintage L.E. Smith punch bowl.

For decades, names like L.E Smith Glass, Lenox Crystal and Bryce Brothers were commonplace in Mt. Pleasant, the borough that grew famous through these glass factories, whose wares graced tables from local homes to the White House.

The craftsmanship and skill displayed by the hundreds of workers who passed through their doors remain evident in the products produced. Now many of those products will have a permanent location for all to enjoy — the Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum, located at the site of the former Lenox plant.

“This is really just the beginning,” museum creator Cassandra Vivian said. “The temporary site was so successful that we found we needed to find a more permanent facility.”

The museum is now located in the O'Rourke Cut Glass site and shares a large part of the old Lenox factory with glass artist Peter O'Rourke.

Vivian has been the driving force behind the museum, working for more than a year to put together impressive collections to represent the glass factories.

“We have a section for each,” Vivian said of L.E. Smith, Lenox and Bryce whose displays of modern and vintage glass are now located around the perimeter of the museum. “Those three will be permanent displays and the displays that we have in the center will change. We would like to rotate those three times a year.”

The museum opening was held Thursday with a private reception that welcomed local officials and citizens for firsthand glimpse.

“I think this is just beautiful,” Mt. Pleasant Borough Manager Jeff Landy said. “This really looks like a real museum. It's great.”

Several glass museum board members at the reception also commented on the new facility.

“I think it's great to see that this glass and the history are being appreciated,” board member Anne Madarasz said. “It is fitting the museum should be located in a place that actually made the glass in a town that created so much history.”

Board member Harley Trice said he feels the location is perfect.

O'Rourke added, “This is where it ought to be. This is a great location and we are so thankful for all of the support that we have received.”

The museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Other events planned to kick off the opening weekend include a special afternoon with members of the glass clubs, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and an open house at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum, located at 402 E. Main St. (Route 31), Mt. Pleasant, is presently accepting membership applications for 2014.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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