You might not know it but one time Millersburg, Ohio was on the cutting edge of glass-making. Because the factory lasted only a few years, Millersburg Glass is now one of the rarest and most desirable types of glassware available.
Celebrated yearly during the Millersburg Antique Festival (October 10 – 11, 2009), Millersburg Glass is collected world-wide and is known for its variety of colors and patterns. Pieces were never marked, so it takes a knowledgeable collector to identify a piece as Millersburg. Depending on the condition of the piece and it’s rarity, Millersburg Glass may bring a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Opening in 1909, the Millersburg Glass factory was located on the northern end of town and was owned by John Fenton who started his career in the glass business at the Fenton Art Glass Company (still in existence today). From the beginning, the factory began producing both crystal and carnival glass in several different colors.
Like the Fenton Factory, the first pieces featured a satin finish. After a period of experimentation, John Fenton pioneered the “radium” finish that became immediately popular. Because of this process, you may find that some Millersburg pieces glow in the dark. The variety of the colors of glass may be attributed to the minerals in the water of the area.
Though his factory was a success, John’s preference for high living left him with bills he could not pay. With lawsuits filed against him, the factory declared bankruptcy in September of 1911. So ended the production of Millersburg Glass.
The Millersburg Glass Museum in Millersburg, Ohio is a great place to view this rare glass. Owned by Chris Sieverdes, it is filled with glass pieces from his private collection as well as some that are on loan.
You can see more Millersburg Glass during the Holmes County Antique Festival. On Saturday, October 10, they’ll feature an antique auction exclusively for Millersburg Glass. Stroll the streets and visit with vendors of all sorts of antiques. Watch the antique car parade then stop by an see us at Der Dutchman in Walnut Creek for a good hearty meal afterwards.