Frederick Dorflinger Suydam and his wife Dorothy Grant Suydam took over the farmhouse and property that was originally purchased by Christian Dorflinger in 1862. When Dorothy died in 1979, her Will stipulated the estate be used as a wildlife sanctuary in memory of her husband. She hoped a museum would be established dedicated to Dorflinger glass. The Suydam's gift was augmented by the kindness of June Dorflinger Hardy, who generously relinquished her life interest in the buildings located on the property. In 1980, the non-profit Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc., was established under the guidance of Roger M. Blough, fulfilling the wishes of Dorothy Suydam.
The Sanctuary acquired its first piece of Dorflinger glass in September 1981 as a gift from Agnes Houth Baisden.
With the generous support of the community, the fund drive surpassed its goal in the fall of 1987. At that time, noted glass expert Helen N. Barger agreed to donate more than 300 pieces of Dorflinger glass. On May 20, 1989, the Dorflinger Glass Museum opened to the public.
The Helen N. Barger Research Center and Library was established in an unused space in the museum building in 1996. Funded by money donated in memory of Helen N. Barger, the effort was directed by Dr. Walter Barbe and Marilyn Barger.
The Dorflinger Glass Museum is recognized as having the largest display of Dorflinger glass in the nation. Annually, the museum attracts 3,500 visitors and is regularly featured in print and broadcast media at the local, regional and national levels. The museum was the first glass museum to establish a site on the Internet. Lectures and special events bring additional visitors to the museum each year.
All the trails are not handicapped accessible, but you can get a wheelchair around one of them. The museum is handicapped accessible.. Motorized chairs have no problem but others have some issues as the road into the theater is gravel turning to grass.