Historic White Mills - White Mills, PA
2017 Season - Open Dates and Times for the Glassworker's House and Lock Tender's House
August 12-13; September 2-3; October 7-8 from 1-4 PM each day.
The picturesque community of White Mills is located along Route 6 between Honesdale and Hawley in Wayne County. The seemingly quiet town of today belies its early industrial fame as the home of the world renowned Dorflinger Glass Works, manufacturer of what has been referred to as America’s finest glass.
Beginning in the 1860s, the Dorflinger Works, and its founder, Christian Dorflinger, transformed White Mills from a sleepy hamlet on the banks of the Lackawaxen River into a bustling industrial center. For more than half a century the glass factory produced exquisite cut lead crystal that graced many of America’s finest tables including those of several White House administrations.
Although the factory closed in 1921, many vestiges of the company town that Dorflinger built remain to this day. The imposing stone factory building, distinctive worker’s houses, and the company store and office are but a few of the extant structures that have survived the intervening years. A superb museum housing numerous examples of Dorflinger glass is located above the town on the grounds of the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, in the home where Christian Dorflinger and his family lived.
1867 Glass Worker's House
Christian Dorflinger received his training in all aspects of glass making, blowing, cutting and decorating in an eight year apprenticeship at the Cristalleries de Saint Louis, France. He emigrated to the United States in 1846 and established several glass factories in the New York area. In 1865 he moved his family to White Mills where he built a glass factory and a factory town.
Dorflinger recruited seven highly skilled workers from Saint Louis-les Bitche, France. The group arrived in the United States in March of 1866. Christian Dorflinger immediately began building workers houses for them, initially seven small, sloped roofed houses similar o the workers houses he knew in France. Once these houses were completed others were constructed. It was reported that by January of 1869, thirty-three dwelling houses had been erected to accommodate 182 employees and their families. Some of these houses were double, and in a few cases, triple houses. Eventually the number of homes Dorflinger built for his employees was close to 100.
The houses built in 1866-1867 for the families of skilled workers were modified in 1875. In 2001, this house, the fifth in line of the original seven, was restored to its 1875 appearance.
1850 Delaware & Hudson Canal Lock Tender's House
The former home of the Lock Tender for the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company has been restored. It houses a small museum with canal artifacts and a diorama that shows how the canal system worked.
1911 White Mills Fire House
This historic building was moved to its present location to save it from demolition. It houses a small museum on the history of White Mills.
Historic White Mills Community Trail
This short trail extends through the site of the former Dorflinger glass factory from the 1911 White Mills Fire House to Lollipop Pond. Eight interpretive signs tell the history of the community. The trail is open from dawn until dusk.
Dorflinger Factory Museum
This privately owned and operated museum features several displays of Dorflinger glass in the beautifully restored Dorflinger Office and Cutting Shop. The Factory Museum is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10-5, Sunday 1-5 from May 1 through October 31. It is open Weekends only in November.