Remaining Fenton Art Glass Business Expected to Close Soon

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There hasn't been any manufacturing at Fenton Art Glass for a long time.

What's left of it is the gift shop.

A year ago the company which bought the long-time manufacturer tried, unsuccessfully, to sell off its old glassmaking moulds as a fundraiser to re-start the business.

Fenton has always been a large tourist attraction to the area.

And the West Virginia Division of Tourism says it is anticipating what remains of the glassmaker will soon be closing.

And it will be a loss for area tourism.

"I think what makes it so sad for a lot of people is that part of our Americana, part of our heritage, glassblowing, is a well-known thing in West Virginia. So it will be a loss to not have it," says Debbie Florence, supervisor at the Williamstown Welcome Center.

Fenton has been close to shutting down before but efforts by the company and its employees held off a complete shutdown before U.S. glass purchased the property two years ago.

Florence says while Fenton likely won't be bringing visitors to the area, state and local tourism officials will continue efforts to make travelers aware of the area's other attractions.

Article contributed by WTAP Television in Parkersburg

Picture courtesy Fenton Art Glass

Updated: 5/14/2013 6:10 P.M.

Fenton Art Glass and its new parent company, U.S. Glass, are running out of time to raise money to catalog the 10,000 moulds it has in its Williamstown plant.

They come not only from Fenton, but from glass makers of the past, like Imperial and Fostoria Glass.

And they might be of interest to the thousands of collectors of Fenton products from all over the country.

"Probably over the last 30 years, as other companies in the handmade glass industry went out of business, we were able to acquire their moulds", says company President George Fenton. "In some cases, we scrapped them, and in other cases, we kept them in storage. And that's why we have to catalog them, so they'll have a full picture of what's available."

Fenton needs $50,000 by next Monday for the cataloging fundraiser. It currently has a little less than one-fifth of that goal.