A precious heritage: The Sandwich Glass Museum reaches out online
For over 100 years, the Sandwich Glass Museum on Main Street in Sandwich has been an important part of Cape Cod’s history and tourism economy. First opened in 1907 as the Sandwich Historical Society, the Glass Museum chronicles the history of Sandwich and the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company.
Executive Director Katie Campbell appreciates that history and culture are key reasons why tourists make a pilgrimage to Massachusetts each year, looking for authenticity and for a unique visitor experience—and the Glass Museum excels in these arenas.
Housing roughly 9,000 glass objects, the museum has plenty to see, offering thirteen galleries, glass blowing demonstrations every hour, events, and exhibits— virtual, permanent, and special. The museum also has plenty to sell in-store and online. Most offerings are made by glass blowers who live and work on the Cape or in the region.
Campbell and other small business owners in Massachusetts are strong supporters of the My Local MA campaign, which encourages local residents to shop locally and support the very businesses that make the state so alluring for visitors.
“It’s so important for us to support our local economy,” Campbell says. “We realize it’s a lot easier to sit at a desk and order something online from a big box store, but when you decide to buy something here, it has a trickle-down effect. You’re buying something from a neighbor who is an artisan; you’re supporting the people who work here; you’re supporting a museum that has been very involved in the community; and you’re supporting the community itself. It’s all interwoven.”
For now, the museum continues to offer glass shows online and works to increase online sales. And Campbell is working hard to keep the museum going and ready for the eventual rebound of the travel and tourism industry. “We could use all the support we could possibly get,” she says. “Like everyone else, we’re madly trying to find funding to keep things going on. We’re too important to the history of Sandwich and to Cape Cod to shut down.”