Art Glass kicks off five-day event in honor of 100th anniversary
July 29, 2005
By JOLENE CRAIG
Parkersburg News, Parkersburg, WV
WILLIAMSTOWN - The five-day Fenton Centennial Celebration kicks
off today with a tree planting ceremony.
"There are a lot of different things planned for everyone to do
during the celebration," said Jim Measell, associate historian at
Fenton Art Glass.
While Fenton Art Glass did not move into West Virginia until 1907,
the family considers May 5, 1905, the day it began when Frank L.
and John Fenton deposited $284.86 into a savings account in
Wheeling as their first commitment to the company.
Fenton began as a glass decorating company before the brothers
discovered the cost and other benefits of producing glass for
In 1907, the company moved into a factory in Williamstown, and the
rest is history, Measell said.
Today, Fenton Art Glass remains a family business, including
management by members of the fourth generation, and 500 employees.
There is no way of knowing how many people plan on attending the
events that include a dinner cruise, live music and a live remote
by the QVC shopping channel, said George Fenton when he addressed
Williamstown City Council during the July 19 meeting.
"I think it is safe to say that there will be thousands of people
coming through the Fenton Art Glass area between Friday afternoon
and Tuesday evening," Measell said.
Fenton said, at last report, there are no hotel rooms left in
Marietta and he has heard rumors of people coming from across the
country and as far away as Australia.
"Employees of Fenton's have been telling people for the past year
to make 2005 the year to visit Fenton Art Glass and I think the
clubs and individuals listened to us," Measell said.
Measell said because of the large number of people, the company
plans to be entertaining, special plans have been made for
"The parking lots near the factory will be opened for the public
and employees will be parking elsewhere and bussed to work," he
said. "We have done our best to make sure as much parking is
available as possible."
Fenton said the company has been working with local law
enforcement, fire departments and city officials to close streets
and plan areas for parking.
Starting July 28, Caroline Avenue was closed to set up tents,
following that Elizabeth and Cherry streets were closed for more
booths and tents, Fenton said.
"The Fenton Art Glass Factory parking lots will be open to the
public and we have permission from Jeff Martin (owner of The Silos
and Painter's Crossing) for more parking in his green area between
the silos and West Virginia 14," Fenton said.
Measell said nearly 400 tickets have been sold for the QVC home
shopping channel live remote broadcast from the Fenton Art Glass
"With that number in attendance, I think there will be full tent,"
The QVC people and equipment will arrive at the location on Monday
to set up and the broadcast will be on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
"QVC was here in 1997 and again in 1998 so we know how to work
with them," Measell said. "It is a little like having the Super
Bowl in town. We stay out of their way and provide the venue."
[PHOTO CAPTION ABOVE]
Joyce and Antonio Alvarez-Pedroso of Pittsburgh look over
glassware at the Fenton tent sale in Williamstown. (Photo by Tony