GlassBarge to make stops in Holley, Brockport and Spencerport

By on May 21, 2018
Rendering of GlassBarge 2018

Rendering of GlassBarge 2018

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) 2018 GlassBarge tour will make stops in Holley, Brockport and Spencerport this summer. As the 2018 signature event for the statewide celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial, GlassBarge will offer free public glassmaking demonstrations at each scheduled stop during its four-month tour.

GlassBarge commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company – now known as Corning Incorporated – relocating to Corning via the New York Waterways by canal barge. In celebration of this pivotal journey, CMoG is recreating the voyage with GlassBarge – a 30’ x 80’ canal barge equipped with CMoG’s patented all-electric glassmaking equipment. In addition to sharing the story of glassmaking in Corning, the GlassBarge tour emphasizes the continued role of New York’s waterways in shaping the state’s industry, culture, and community.

Glassblowing on the GlassBarge

Glassblowing on the GlassBarge

GlassBarge began its tour in Brooklyn on May 17 and will travel north on the Hudson River, then westward along the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo before making its way to the Finger Lakes. A ceremonial last leg of the trip will take place by land, concluding in Corning with a community-wide celebration on September 22.

Locally, GlassBarge will make stops in Holley on July 24 at Holley Canal Park; Brockport on August 17, 18 and 19 at the Brockport Welcome Center; and Spencerport on August 22 at the Spencerport Depot and Canal Museum. The complete tour itinerary is available at www.cmog.org/GlassBarge.

The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge

The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge

A flotilla of historic ships will accompany GlassBarge, including: the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge, and the C.L. Churchill, a 1964 tugboat, both part of the permanent collection of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. The museum will share the story of 19th-century canal life and how materials were shipped on New York’s waterways. On the Erie Canal, GlassBarge will be moved by an historic tug from the fleet of the South Street Seaport Museum, connecting upstate and downstate by water.

“The fourth visit by the Lois McClure and the first by the GlassBarge will be a highlight of Brockport’s special summer activities,” said Brockport Mayor Margay Blackman. “We expect that they will draw residents from a large area for the glassmaking demonstrations.”

“We are thrilled to visit Brockport to bring to life the historic waterway in their community,” said Rob Cassetti, senior director, creative strategy and audience engagement at CMoG. “The Corning Museum of Glass has taken mobile glassmaking around the world, and we can’t wait to share the beauty of this endlessly versatile material with our closest neighbors across New York State.”

GlassBarge on the Erie Canal during Fairport Canal Days.

GlassBarge on the Erie Canal during Fairport Canal Days.

GlassBarge will provide free glassblowing demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. All demos are approximately 30 minutes long, and seating is limited. Guests are strongly encouraged to register online at www.cmog.org/GlassBarge for specific demonstration locations and times. Registration will be available four to six weeks prior to each stop. Demos can also be viewed from shore without a reservation.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum will invite people aboard the Lois McClure to learn about life on board a canal barge in the 19th century. Tours are first come, first served and do not require registration.

The GlassBarge journey will also be celebrated back in Corning with a re-installation of the Crystal City Gallery, which will share the story of how Corning became one of the premier centers for glass cutting in the United States.

GlassBarge is enabled through the generous support of grants from I LOVE NEW YORK, Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism; the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA); and the New York State Canal Corporation through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

Provided information and photos

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