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Personal collection on display for retirement community

Jul. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Dottie Daugherty lives at the Woodlands Retirement Community located off of 5th Street in Huntington. Even though she has downsized to an apartment she continues to pursue her interest in collecting antique glass.

Of special note this month she is sharing her glass collection with the retirement community by showcasing a chronological display of West Virginia glass in the facility's dining room.

Dottie is a long time member of the Huntington Glass Club that meets in the fall and spring at the Huntington Museum of Art. As an active member she is seeking to promote the celebration of 200 years of glassmaking in West Virginia, hence her display at the Woodlands.

"Glassmaking began in West Virginia about 1813 in Wellsburg, and The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is sponsoring this celebration," she said. "There are a number of activities going on around the state commemorating the anniversary. Here at the Woodlands I have some of my glass on display in the dining room and we have scheduled Dean Six to talk about West Virginia Glass on Sept. 15, 2013. Six, who is a lifelong resident of West Virginia and a noted writer on West Virginia glass, has an expertise in the often little known factories that existed in mid-century West Virginia. His talk is open to the public and we would encourage anyone interested in glass collecting to attend. More information will be forthcoming the closer we get to the event."

Included in Dottie's display were examples of glass from various companies who have operated in West Virginia over the years.

"I don't have anything from 1813 but there are some interesting pieces here," she said. "For example, there is a bar bottle from Sweeney and they only operated from 1835 through 1867."

Dottie has a soft spot for celery vases and has included one of those from the Richie firm that dated back to 1837. The exhibit embraces examples of glass manufactured in West Virginia from about 1835 through 2013 each labeled with the names of the factories that produced them.

The Woodlands encourages its residents to share their interests with others in their community by displaying their collections and in Dottie's case, scheduling a speaker to discuss it. Dottie thinks it is a grand idea and remembered other collections that have been showcased.

"There has been a collection of shoes by a local shoe store owner," she said. "Another lady set up her artifacts that she had she collected as a missionary in Africa plus there have been others do the same. It is very interesting."

Donnel Horn, who does marketing and sales at Woodland, related that there are other displays around the Woodlands campus as well.

"One member's family was associated with Fenton Glass and he has examples of that glass displayed in his wing," Horn said. "We encourage residents to display their personal collections in our public spaces."

Like Dottie, many of the Woodlands residents have had strong interests in a variety of fields over their lifetimes. The retirement community is to be congratulated for giving them a forum to share those interests with one another, which ultimately helps them know one another, better. As it says on their web page, "Independent living at Woodlands gives you the freedom to live as you please."

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