Dorflinger Glass in White Mills, Pennsylvania produced some of the country’s most beautiful cut glass in the last 19th and early 20th centuries, and, wanting to see some of their incredible creations, I took some time to visit the Dorflinger Glass Museum.
The Dorflinger Glass Museum is located in Wayne County in the Poconos region of PA, and shouldn’t be confused with the nearby Dorflinger Factory Museum, which is a separate museum (but more on that later). The Dorflinger Glass Museum is located within a beautiful space in the heart of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is also a great place for a hike.
The museum’s roots can be traced back to 1981 when a piece of Dorflinger Glass was donated to the sanctuary. After that, more and more pieces were acquired but had to be kept in a bank vault as there was nowhere on the property to display or store them.
In 1989, after several years of planning, the Dorflinger Glass Museum opened to the public.
Today, the museum features more than 1,000 pieces of Dorflinger Glass, spanning the entirety of the company’s history, and is one of the largest collections of this type of glass in the world.
Wanting to experience this collection, I visited here after checking out the Dorflinger Factory Museum just a mile down the road.
The museum itself is all located within one room, and it isn’t overly large. However, they have packed a ton of amazing pieces into this space and you could easily spend hours here if you were especially interested in the collection. While I’m not sure if all of the over 1,000 pieces in their collection are on display, there are certainly hundreds of amazing pieces that can be seen.
The pieces are organized by both the type of piece but also by the era in which they were created. This really does a great job of letting visitors compare and contrast pieces through the decades that the company produced glass.
When you enter, visitors are given a booklet that contains detailed information on every display case within the museum. Each case is marked with a number, as well as a QR code if you’d rather use your phone to guide you through the museum.
The information on these sheets is very detailed. In fact, it’s almost too detailed if you just have a passing interest in the collection. For me, I found that, instead of reading about every piece, it worked best to pick out pieces that looked especially interesting and then read about them.
There are also a few signs sprinkled within the display cases, but these are primarily focused on how the item was acquired by the museum, though some also tell how a particularly interesting piece was used.
In addition to the many display cases in the space, there are a few other neat items including a chair used by Christian Dorflinger (the founder of the company) and a diorama of the glass factory. There is also a TV playing an interesting seven-minute film here that was recorded in the factory in 1916 by Paramount that does a great job showing what it was like inside.
Overall, there’s no denying that the collection at the Dorflinger Glass Museum is truly extraordinary, and, if you have a strong interest in Dorflinger Glass, this is definitely a must-visit spot.
That being said, if you are only marginally interested in the subject, I would suggest skipping this museum and instead visiting the Dorflinger Factory Museum just down the road. That museum is located in a portion of the old factory, offers a great look into how the glass was made, and has a collection that rivals the one at this museum.
That’s not saying anything bad at all about this museum, but given the two museums are located only a mile apart and cover the same subject, it’s worth noting which one to check out if you only have the time or interest to visit one spot. If you visit the factory museum and want to see more, it’s easy to head down the road to this spot.
All that being said, even if you’re only interested in going to the other museum, it’s worth visiting this area to check out the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary that surrounds the Dorflinger Glass Museum.
This sanctuary features several miles of hiking trails and two small lakes, and it’s definitely a great spot for a short hike in Wayne County, PA. I know I really enjoyed the hike I took here after I visited the museum.
Dorflinger Glass Museum
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Cost: Adults: $5, Children: $2
Address: 55 Suydam Dr