Local Wonders: Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary
In 1980, the Dorflinger- Syudam Wildlife Sanctuary Inc. was formed to further natural history, conservation, artistic and cultural education and to serve the people as an agency for popular enlightenment, cultural improvement and scientific progress, recognizing through its programs the essential relationship among the natural, artistic and historic elements of the area.
The Dorflinger- Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation of woodlands and open spaces... and so much more!
The Sanctuary is home to the Dorflinger Glass Museum, a museum dedicated to preserving the magnificent glass made in White Mills from 1852-1921. With over 900 pieces of cut, engraved, etched, gilded and enameled crystal, the museum proudly displays the nation's largest collection of Dorflinger glass.
During the summer months, the tranquil Sanctuary gives life to the Wildflower Music Festival. The annual outdoor music festival brings the finest musicians to the area, performing classical, jazz, folk, bluegrass and chamber repertoires. There is no better place to be on a Saturday evening than under the majestic pines listening to quality music while enjoying a picnic supper and a glass of wine!
Although the property of the Sanctuary extends nearly 600 acres, the preservation efforts of the organization move past the boundaries into the village of White Mills. Those efforts began with restoring one of the original seven houses built by Christian Dorflinger as homes of the workers he brought from France. It now serves as a reminder of a worker's life in 1867. Then, under the leadership of the late Wayne W. Stephens, the 1911 White Mills Fire House was saved from demolition and safely moved across the street. The original Dorflinger cutting shop and office, as well as the Lock Tender's House, are privately being saved from ruin, helping to preserve the heritage White Mills.
Finally, back to this quietly beautiful place called a Sanctuary. Miles of well maintained walking trails clear the mind and refresh the soul. During winter months, there is a special solitude in the slish of cross-country skiis breaking through the snow.
It all fosters the belief that enduring values are part of a worthwhile way of life that should be preserved for and shared with future generations.