Frederick Dorflinger Suydam and his wife Dorothy Grant Suydam took over the farmhouse and the 598-acre 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 Helen N. Barger Research Center and Library was established in an unused space in the museum building in 1996.
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 of the sanctuary trails are not handicapped accessible, but you can get a wheelchair around one of them. The museum is handicapped accessible.
In 1983, the Wildflower Music Festival was officially launched when a generous gift from the Abram M. and Mabel B. Skier Foundation enabled the construction of the Wildflower Theater in its present location on the Sanctuary grounds. Brush and young trees were removed from a portion of the gently sloping hill, creating a terraced viewing area, carpeted with lush grass and sheltered by ages-old evergreens. Tall and stately, the trees conceal the outdoor amphitheater from the surrounding fields and forest. Motorized wheelchairs have no problem but others have some issues as the road into the theater is gravel turning to grass.
Wildlife Sanctuary: Open daily from dawn to dusk. The Museum: Opens seasonally early May through late October: Monday & Tuesday: closed, Wednesday- Saturday: 10:00am- 4:00pm, Sunday: 1:00pm- 4:00pm. Museum November Hours: Monday- Friday: closed, Saturday: 10:00am- 4:00pm, Sunday: 1:00pm- 4:00pm.